Can my husband throw out my personal belongings if we are going through a divorce?

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Can my husband throw out my personal belongings if we are going through a divorce?

My husband, who has not even filed for divorce, is threatening to throw all of my stuff out of our apartment and destroy our furniture if I am not moved out by this afternoon. Can he legally do this?

Asked on November 1, 2010 under Family Law, Florida

Answers:

M.D., Member, California and New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 2 years ago | Contributor

No, he cannot. In fact he can be held liable for any loss that you suffer as a result (ie the cost of replacment of the items in question) if your personal possessions being discarded. The fact is that, unless a court court order is in place giving him sole possession of the house, it is still considered to be the marital residence - regardless of whether or not you have moved out or whose name the house is in. Accordingly, you have a right to enter and stay in or on the premises as you like.  In fact, while you are free to leave the home, you should speak with an attorney before making this or any other major change in your circumstances.  In some situations, physical separation is advisable.  However, in many cases, leaving the home may have serious negative consequences to you, particularly if you are seeking custody of the children and they remain in the marital home with your spouse. Your departure from the home may also create a financial burden for you. Prior to the final divorce decree, a court will rarely compel either party to leave the marital home until the divorce is final, except in the event of domestic violence.


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