How long after the divorce does my ex-spouse have to remove items from my house?

Your Texas divorce has been finalized, all the parties have signed the Final Decree of Divorce as well as the Judge. That decree awards you the marital home and certain pieces of property within it. One problem still remains, however- how to remove the items left behind by your ex-spouse that were awarded to him or her in the divorce.

The attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan can walk you through this post-divorce quagmire in order to help you avoid any nasty conflicts or trips back to Court.

When we’re discussing property, what exactly do we mean? The author of this blog post doesn’t merely mean:

  1. a couch,
  2. a kitchen utensil or an end table.

Items with significant value in terms of sentiment (old photograph of your Grandmother) or a financially valuable item (firearm) are all in play here. No matter if the parties agreed to the dissolution of the marriage and its estate, or if a judge made an order after a trial, the effect of the court’s order is the same.

Typically, a Texas divorce decree with spell out with a fair deal of specificity the:

  1. who,
  2. what,
  3. where,
  4. when and
  5. how of removing personal property from the residence.

For some spouses, most property will have already been removed prior to the divorce. However, in situations where the spouses are not on speaking terms or where one spouse moved some distance from the marital home items can remain in the house up until the final days of a divorce.

If your divorce decree doesn’t specify how and when items need to be removed, consider the following pieces of advice:

Where are the items being stored and who owns the house?

If your spouse’s name is on the deed to the house, they technically have a right to all the items within the house until a court order says otherwise. There may be a vague, middle ground wherein a court order has been signed removing one spouse from an interest in the property but documents ensuring that this occurs have not been drafted or signed yet by the parties making that court order legally binding.

In this situation, it is best to contact your ex-spouse (or their attorney) to let them know that they have a certain amount of time to remove those items which were awarded to them in the Texas divorce suit.

Send a certified letter giving your ex-spouse notice of your intent to remove their belongings if they do not do so first

Rather than asking your ex-spouse how and when they would like to remove the subject belongings from your residence, it is best to provide a specific time and date as to when the items need to be removed. At the very least this can get a conversation started on the issues at hand and can lead to an amicably agreed to deadline.

Thirty days is a reasonable length of time for a person to get their logistics in line to move items from the home they no longer have any interest in.

What Happens if I want the property back?

If the shoe is on the other foot, and it is you who wants your property from the marital residence but your ex-spouse will not allow it, there are a few steps that can be taken to protect your rights.

First, it is often the best practice to have your attorney send a letter either to your ex-spouse’s lawyer or your ex-spouse personally. Explaining in the letter the areas of the divorce decree that your ex-spouse is violating can pinpoint the issues that are being disputed and can cause a dialogue to occur that results in a remedy.

If all else fails, head back to the Courtroom.

Seeking an additional order from the court detailing how your property can be removed from your former residence is an option. The other option is what’s known as an enforcement.

An enforcement simply outlines those orders from the court that have been violated and seeks relief from the court in the form of fines and/or attorney’s fees.

However, going to court means costs of re-hiring your Houston divorce attorney or hiring a new Houston divorce lawyer and then actually going to court at least once to resolve the conflict. Taking remedial measures to resolve any outstanding issues without having to go to court is typically your best bet.

The Attorneys with the Law Office of Bryan Fagan represent people in Houston, Galveston, Conroe, Spring, The Woodlands, Tomball and many other areas in southeast Texas. Consultations with an attorney are free of charge.

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Other Articles you may be interested in:

  1. Why is Separate Property Important and How to Keep it Separate in a Texas Divorce?
  2. What Wikipedia Can’t Tell you About Texas Divorce and Marital Property Division
  3. Texas Divorce Property Division Enforcement
  4. Separate Property in a Texas Divorce?
  5. Does it Matter Whose Name is on Title or Deed of Property in a Divorce in Texas?
  6. Is Social Security Considered Separate Property in a Texas Divorce
  7. Business Owners and Business Assets in a Texas Divorce
  8. What to do when your divorce decree does not include a marital asset?
  9. High Net Worth Divorce / High Asset Divorce

Law Office of Bryan Fagan | Houston, Texas Divorce Lawyers

The Law Office of Bryan Fagan routinely handles matters that affect children and families. If you have questions regarding divorce, it's important to speak with one of our Houston, TX Divorce Lawyers right away to protect your rights.

Our divorce lawyers in Houston TX are skilled at listening to your goals during this trying process and developing a strategy to meet those goals. Contact Law Office of Bryan Fagan by calling (281) 810-9760 or submit your contact information in our online form. The Law Office of Bryan Fagan handles Divorce cases in Houston, Texas, Cypress, Klein, Humble, Kingwood, Tomball, The Woodlands, the FM 1960 area, or surrounding areas, including Harris County, Montgomery County, Liberty County, Chambers County, Galveston County, Brazoria County, Fort Bend County and Waller County.

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Spring Divorce Attorney
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Houston, TX 77068
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