My Ex has moved out and left their things – What do I do with it?
Inevitably, separation involves one party moving out of the matrimonial home. When doing so, it may be impractical for the moving party to take all of their items with them. So what are your options if your ex has moved out and left their things?
For the party who stays
If your ex has moved out and left items in the property, these are your options in terms of getting rid of the items:
Hang on to them
Sometimes during separation emotions get the better of practicality. While you may not want to hold onto items your ex has left in the home, consider whether your ex can actually manage retaining those items in the meantime. If for example you are negotiating a property settlement or manoeuvring through the slow court system, the person who moves out is often renting until they have access to funds to purchase something else. This may mean that their current residence is smaller, and they simply cannot fit the items in. If you are living in the former matrimonial home and the items can remain there in the interim, it may be better to leave them than to start a fight over it. If you can’t bear to see the items in the home, box them up and put them in the garage or tucked away in a corner somewhere they won’t bother you.
Ask your ex to collect the items
Sometimes parties simply don’t have the capabilities to remove all of their items when moving out of the home, especially when the move has happened quickly. Give your ex some time to re-accommodate themselves and make alternative arrangements. Once some time has passed, let them know what is still there and ask them to collect it. Give them reasonable notice and ask politely. Similarly, if you don’t want your ex to collect the items, box them up and arrange a mutually suitable time for collection so that the pickup is quick and there is no back and forth.
Get rid of them
Even if you have asked your ex to collect their items and given them sufficient time to make arrangements, sometimes it simply doesn’t happen. While we would not encourage you to dispose of your ex’s items unnecessarily, there may be little option (for example when the property has been sold and settlement is upcoming). If you have already hung on to the items for a long period of time and asked your ex to collect them to no avail, we suggest letting them know that the items are getting donated to salvos or thrown in the bin. Often this can provide some much needed motivation to take some action!
For the moving party
On the flip side, when you move out of the property but leave items behind, these are the two main options with respect to storing your remaining personal items after you move out:
Take your items
If you have the space in your new residence, ideally you should pack up all of your items and take them with you. While this may be a daunting task, it could save you a lot of hassle if you leave something behind that you need and then later require access to the property that you no longer reside in for the purpose of collecting your items.
Similarly, if trust has broken down it can be difficult to recollect what you have and have not taken with you. Save yourself the anxiety and organise everything prior to moving out.
Putting your items in storage is a practical way to ensure you have everything you need in one place. Similarly, your ex will not have to hang on to anything on your behalf. You may choose to store your items with friends or family (if they’re feeling generous) or pay for a storage facility.
If this article was useful you may also like to read 10 Tips to communicate better with your ex
If you have any questions or should you need any assistance please do not hesitate to contact us at Southern Waters Legal.