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How do I get my personal property back from my ex husband who refuses to return it?

Scranton, PA |

I have been divorced since Oct. 2011. At the time I was staying in a shelter. I have asked my ex to turn over all my personal property to me since then. He kept telling me to come get it myself knowing I don't have a car or license and didn't know anyone with a car as I was in a shelter. Even after I got a place he refused. A few months back he moved and said he would drop my stuff off for me. I was at work and when I came home all I had on my porch was a few shopping bags of clothes I didn't even want. He has a computer and camcorder of mine and boxes from my kids he won't turn over, he says he doesn't know where they are now. Can I sue him to get my stuff back? And how do I go about getting it back? I live in Scranton, Pa. Thank you

Attorney Answers 2


Unfortunately it is very difficult to retrieve items of personalty from an ex-spouse. Did your divorce decree provide for him to return your items of personalty? You could always make up a list of items that you are seeking and give that to your ex to see what his response is to that request. Usually the value of the personalty that you are seeking is not worth the cost of hiring a lawyer and pursuing the return of the items through a court proceeding.

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I have asked him for specific items but he says he threw them out. They are of great sentimental value, items from my kids to me and pictures and baby items of my daughter (who is not his biological daughter).


Unfortunately, unless the divorce decree or property settlement agreement specifically provides that you are to receive these personal property items, there is nothing you can do to compel him to give you the items. HOWEVER, if the divorce decree and order provides that you were supposed to receive the items, or the two of you have a written marital settlement agreement that provides so, you can petition the court to enforce the terms of the decree or agreement. If you are unsure, you should consult an attorney and provide all documents relating to your divorce so he or she can determine whether there is a divorce decree or settlement agreement that sets forth the terms for division of marital property.

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