Can I move an ex’s property out of the marital home

divorce attorney Jill DuffyQuestion:

I have been granted exclusive use of the marital home. My wife is refusing to move her belongings out.

Can I start moving her possessions out of the home so that I can start the process of moving on?


First, you should refer to the order that gives you exclusive use of the marital home. If the order does not address this situation, one of two things could occur.

One, you could move her things from the marital home. It is likely that doing this will prompt her to file a motion asking the judge for an order to stop you from doing so. You will likely have to attend a motion hearing and pay your attorney to do the same.

Two, you could hold her things, but try to get clarification as to when she will remove them. You can do this by filing a motion with the court to get her to remove them, or working with your attorney and her attorney to set a date for removal of the items in the home.

Normally, an order for exclusive use of the marital home is an interim order. This means that it is a temporary order to be used until the divorce proceedings are over. This type of order does not ensure that you will be awarded the marital home or its contents, just that you can use the home until the divorce is finalized or a new order is entered.

Additionally, it is common in divorce cases to get mutual restraining orders regarding destruction or removal of marital property. If you have such an order in your case you should not dispose of or remove her belongings from the home. Violating a restraining order can cause the judge to hold you in contempt, fine you or put you in jail.

Do not rely on this information as establishing an attorney-client relationship. Contact an attorney immediately for assistance. Cordell & Cordell represents men in divorce nationwide.


Jill A. Duffy is an Associate Attorney in the Troy, Mich., office of Cordell & Cordell. She is licensed to practice in the state of Michigan. Ms. Duffy received her BA in Psychology and Spanish and graduated Magna Cum Laude from Oakland University. She received her Juris Doctor from Michigan State University College of Law and graduated Magna Cum Laude.

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