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How do I seek restitution for my ex wife stealing the majority of my marital property after our divorce was finalized?

Boulder, CO |

She broke (broke a window) into the house I was living in that was ordered sold that I had the 50% of our marital property that was mine, changed the locks and moved in while I was on spring-break with our daughter . When the house was sold she took all of the furniture and other possessions that were agreed to as mine and moved them to her new house. She refuses to give me any compensation for them and states she'll swear they were abandoned. She sold one possession alone, a cello, for $2700. The judge valued all of our household possessions at $20,000 as a default number. I currently pay $3000/month maint and that ends Nov 2014.

Attorney Answers 5


  1. Your best bet is to hire an attorney and file contempt against her for failure to turn over the property awarded to you by the Court.

    You can reach Harkess & Salter LLC at (303) 531-5380 or info@Harkess-Salter.com. Stephen Harkess is an attorney licensed in the state and federal courts of Colorado. This answer is for general information only and does not create an attorney client relationship between Stephen Harkess or Harkess & Salter LLC and any person. You should schedule a consultation with an attorney to discuss the specifics of your legal issues.


  2. Did you call the police? She should be facing criminal charges for burglary at this point so give them a call. You can also file various motions in your family law case with the assistance of a family law attorney.

    Good luck.

    In no way am I offering you legal advice, and in no way has my comment created an attorney-client relationship. You are not to rely upon my note above in any way, but insted need to sit down with counsel and share all relevant facts before receiving fully-informed legal advice. If you want to be completely sure of your rights, you must sit down with an experienced criminal defense attorney to be fully aware of your rights.


  3. With the substantial financial resources that you are describing, it is hard for me to understand why you have not consulted with or retained an attorney. Obviously, you have not been able to work your way through this mess by yourself. Call one of the attorneys who has responded to your question and schedule a consultation as soon as possible. Alternatively, if you elect to do nothing, write this off as another unfortunate life experience and move ahead with matters that will be positive for you. Good luck.


  4. When a Court order is violated, restitution (compensation) can be obtained through a contempt motion seeking remedial contempt sanctions. Sanctions can include a variety of things, including but not limited to money or replacement of the broken and stolen items. Attorney fees may be awarded as part of the sanctions.

    There may also be a basis for a criminal prosecution for burglary, theft, and other charges.

    A separate civil lawsuit for tortious actions (example: extreme and outrageous conduct) may be possible.


  5. I agree with my colleagues. Though sometimes a motion to compel is simpler than contempt to start. Hope this helps.

    You can reach Dave Rich at (303) 886-2516 or dave@flatironlegal.com. Dave Rich is an attorney licensed in Colorado. Answering your questions does not create an attorney-client relationship between us. You should speak with an attorney to whom you have provided all the facts in your case, before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. I am not obligated to answer subsequent emails or phone calls unless you have hired me. I wish you the best of luck with your situation.

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