Can I sell the furniture and washer/dryer that are in our home if my wife moved out?

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Can I sell the furniture and washer/dryer that are in our home if my wife moved out?

My wife moved out 2 months ago and took all her personal property. Now she wants the washer/dryer or the furnature and most of the stuff in my house. But they are things I purchased during the marriage (some receipts I still have). No legal separation or divorce has been started. Am I allowed to sell these assests in my home and give her 1/2 of what I make from the sale (showing receipts of course) She refuses mediation; she wants to bargain with me. I rather get rid of everything and give her cash.

Asked on September 15, 2010 under Family Law, New York

Answers:

M.T.G., Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 11 years ago | Contributor

Although I can understand the state that you are in and why you feel as you do, I caution you to act on those feelings at this point in time.  Anything purchased during the marriage is considered to be marital property, because it was purchased with "marital funds" even if the funds only came out of your pay check.  If you sell something that the court later determines is a marital asset and subject to distribution, you will guilty of "dissipating" marital assets.  That is not looked on very favorably by the Courts.  I would get yourself an attorney at this stage if she is being obstinate about things and do what you need to do, including making sure that you have sole occupancy of the marital home pending distribution so that you can change the locks.  Good luck.


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