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What is the best way to handle this situation? How can I get my things back and get what isn't there or messed up replaced

Richmond, VA |

I got married to a man on active duty. Shortly after he became abusive. When it was time for him to go to a new duty station he took my things to make sure I would come to. I ended up leaving him and now he will not return my things. It's been four years and now he is saying he is tired of being my storage and he is going to start throwing it away if I don't come get it. I don't have the means to come get it and have practically begged him to at least send one box a month and he won't. I recently asked him about my things and he says his house was broken into and he doesn't know what is missing. I think he already threw some of it out and he told me my 50in TV screen was cracked and he's not replacing it. He said the dresser that was in my daughter room was broke and he threw it out

Attorney Answers 3


  1. Not sure there is a good way to handle getting your things back after four years of marriage where you, he, and the household goods were in separate locations

    Seems like the best way to handle the matter is a divorce and what happens to your TV will be determined as part of that process.

    NOT LEGAL ADVICE. FOR EDUCATION AND INFORMATION ONLY. DO NOT RELY ON ANY ADVICE YOU RECEIVE FROM ME OR ANY OTHER ATTORNEY IN THIS FORUM. Legal advice comes after a complete review of the facts and relevant documents and an expressed (written) agreement of representation that forms attorney-client confidentiality. Neither of these two events can occur in this forum. Mr. Rafter is licensed to practice in the Commonwealth of Virginia and the US Federal Courts in Virginia. His answers to any Avvo question are rooted in general legal principles--NOT your specific state laws. There is no implied or actual attorney-client relationship arising from this education exchange. You should speak with an attorney licensed in your state, to whom you have provided all the facts before you take steps that may impact your legal rights. Mr. Rafter is under no obligation to answer subsequent emails or phone calls related to this or any other matter.


  2. You don't mention what state your husband lives in, and that is extremely important. You need to file for divorce AND ask the Court to grant you access to the former marital residence so that you can go in and see what is yours that was left there which is premarital. If he damaged your pre-marital television, that is a form of waste under Virginia law, but that most likely isn't going to be the applicable law. Please note in Comments what state your not-yet-ex is located in, so that the analysis can be made by attorneys who are licensed to practice in that state. Best idea may be to just write it all off, and get on with your life. I don't mean to sound cruel, but if you look at any of the local papers for comparable prices of your personal items, you may well discover that the cost simply isn't worth the hassle of trying to get those things back.

    Legal issues often depend on the specific facts in any given case or situation. Please do NOT utilize the information you receive as either a binding legal opinion in your case, nor presume that I am your counsel because I've answered a question you had. Any legal representation is accomplished by written contract ONLY, signed by each of us.


  3. You should meet with a local attorney about your case. You likely need to file for divorce and seek an order that no marital property may be disposed of until entry of the final decree of divorce.

    To learn about Kevin R. Pettrey, Esq. go to www.kevinpettrey.com or call (757) 550-0000. Please remember that if you find an answer particularly helpful, please mark it as helpful or "best answer" so that the attorneys who volunteer their time to answer these questions have feedback. This answer is only for informational purposes, is not legal advice, and does not create an attorney-client relationship. Every case is different and must be judged on its own unique facts.

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