Legal Question in Family Law in Virginia

Removal of spouses belongings

I have asked my wife to remove her belongings from my parents home where we both lived. I have kept them safe and intact. Whenever she comes to pick up some of her things, she tells me that what I am going is illegal, but takes her possesions anyway. If she refused to take them, I would continue to store them safe and dry, but I have not told her this. I have not left any of her belongins at the curb and they are all in the exact same condition as when she brought them.

Am I legally required to inform her that I would continue to store her bleongings?

Would it be considered voluntarily taking her posessions whenever she comes to pick things up?

If she has not stayed more then 24 hours in the 6 months since she initially left our shared home, is it considered abandonment and can I seel an uncontested divorce, or can she still contest it?

Thank you so much,

Vexed in Virgnia

Asked on 3/15/09, 11:35 pm

2 Answers from Attorneys

Lisa McDevitt McDevitt Law Office

Re: Removal of spouses belongings

Dear Vexed in Virginia,

There is no law that says you must keep the belongings safe. HOWEVER, at a final divorce hearing she could ask the judge to compensate her for any damage done to her property. So, long story short, keep the belongings protected until a final decree of divorce is entered but keep sending her written notices that she needs to pick them up.

Hope this helps! Take care and good luck to you.

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Answered on 3/16/09, 10:00 am
Michael Hendrickson Law Office Michael E. Hendrickson

Re: Removal of spouses belongings

No, as I've answered before in regard to this scenario, the conduct attributed to your wife in visiting the marital home as described in this question would not(in my opinion) constitute the conditions required to establish the fault ground of abandonment as a basis for divorce under Va. Code Sec. 20-91(Grounds for divorce).

If you meet the conditions required for an uncontested divorce, either you or your wife could seek such a divorce if the necessary criteria outlined in the above referenced Virginia statute have been fullfilled.

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Answered on 3/16/09, 10:03 am

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