How long do I have to hang on to the personal property that my husband left behind when he moved out?

UPDATED: Aug 19, 2012

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How long do I have to hang on to the personal property that my husband left behind when he moved out?

He took all his clothes, toiletries and medications. He left a non-working TV, small boom box and enough boxes of his personal belongings (boxes were taped closed when he moved in). He loaded up my master bedroom with them and they still dominate the room to the point I cannot enter the room. How long do I have to keep his things? He closed our joint bank account taking what was left of the money. He changed his mailing address (I don’t know it). He has not made any attempt to contact me about his things. I have no way to contact him. He won’t speak to me or contact me and I want a divorce.

Asked on August 19, 2012 under Family Law, California


FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

If the personal property of your former husband has been at your residence for more than six (6) months and is worth less than $300 in your opinion and he has made no attempt to retrieve such, then under the laws of most states in this country you can dispose of the items that you have any way you want.

From what you have written, the items left behind do not seem to be worth much. I would photograph the items and inventory them for future use and need as a precaution.

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