So things have gotten rough, and you want to get your things back from your ex-wife. There are many ways this can go, and many ways you can handle it; however, here is some advice to help things go as smoothly as possible.
Getting your things with a Settlement Agreement
Bring a copy of your settlement agreement with you to retrieve your belongings. With a Settlement Agreement, things should be easier. The Settlement Agreement should outline who gets what, and if you are lucky, state a specific time, date, and location for you to retrieve your belongings. If the settlement agreement does not specify any sort of date, time, and place, contact your ex (unless the agreement states you cannot) and see what you can set up.
Contact your wife through your lawyer if you cannot contact her directly, or if she does not seem to want to comply with the settlement agreement that entitles you to your belongings. Your lawyer, as well as the local law enforcement officials will be able to help you obtain your belongings if she does not want to comply with the agreement that was established.
If she does comply with the agreement, all you need to do is contact her (through the means that are allowed as per the agreement) and arrange the time and place to get your belongings. It is a good idea to bring anything of hers that you have in your possession as a means of settling everything at one time, and in a civil manner.
Getting your things without a Settlement Agreement
Without a settlement agreement, things will be a bit trickier than if you had one. However, the best place to start is contacting your spouse. If verbal contact is civil, great. Use verbal contact to work something out that you can also have put into writing for your protection in the event she goes back on her verbal agreement. You need something to prove what she said! If possible, get the agreement notarized.
If you do not have any agreement in writing and she goes back on her word, you are going to need to engage a lawyer. Contact the one you had during the divorce proceedings (if you had one) for assistance. If you did not have a lawyer, consult with a family lawyer to get assistance as to what you can do to get your things without creating trouble for yourself. You should be able to use local law enforcement in order to get your belongings.
If you cannot get so far as to reach a verbal agreement with her to put into writing in the first place, consult with your lawyer, or find one. He or she will be able to tell you how to proceed in a manner that will allow you to get your belongings without giving her any ground to get you in legal trouble. You should be able to use local law enforcement to get your belongings, and if not, they will assist you in going through the proper channels to do so.
- Be civil with your ex.
- Go through the proper channels to get your belongings.
- If she gets angry, do not add fuel to the flame!