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Ray
Ray, Lawyer
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 37059
Experience:  30 years in civil, probate, real estate, elder law
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My wife have been separated months (when she moved out) and

Customer Question

My wife have been separated for 2 months (when she moved out) and she wants a divorce. Yesterday she entered the house (without my knowledge - apparently she made a copy of the house key) and removed some of my belongings (which are not marital property.) Please advise.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Legal
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Hi and welcome to JA. I am Ray and will be the expert helping you today.

Try to make a list of the items.You may need to file for divorce and make return of these part of the property settlement.You can try reporting this to the police but likely they tell you it is a civil issue.Filing for divorce here and seeking these items back from the judge if necessary is your remedy.

I think you should consider filing for divorce to protect your rights to these items and your share of marital property here.This is yours and the court can order her to return it to you.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Lawyer for you here

http://www.lawyers.com/divorce/pennsylvania/find-law-firms-by-city/

Sorry she did this to you, you do have remedies in divorce court. You may want to remove your stuff here since you are sort of in no mans land until divorce has been filed and orders are in place.

Thanks again for he chance to help today.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

Reference to PA law.

Generally speaking, “marital property” in Pennsylvania includes all assets acquired by either spouse during the marriage (anytime between the date of the marriage and the date of separation).

“Non-marital” assets aka “separate property” include the following:

  • assets acquired by either spouse before marriage
  • assets acquired by gift or inheritance at any time (except for gifts from one spouse to the other that occurred during marriage), and
  • assets acquired by either spouse after the date of separation.

Generally PA courts have the authority to divide and distribute marital property between the spouses in a divorce, but spouses typically get to keep their separate property.This should be returned to you in a divorce if it is your separate property.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

I wish you the best with the divorce and moving on, the court should order her to return the property here and orders concerning the house itself..

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
It is separate property. But when the cop was here he did say it is a civil issue, but you would probably have a hard time proving that it was your property prior to the marriage. He sensually, there is no marital property (unless you want to consider a barbecue grilling set and other odds and ends.) there were no items like cars, boats, investments or anything purchased during the marriage. Nor are there any joint bank accounts or any other item with her name on it.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Sorry. Essentially. (Darn auto-correct.)Since my assumption is that she still wants a divorce (we've had no contact in five weeks.) I was considering just pursuing a simple no-fault divorce. But this kind of complicates things. The question is, do I risk putting up several thousand dollars for a "Contested divorce" – which will end up probably costing me more headaches from her in the future.
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

I would still ask for them from the judge here.If you have any other separate property you may want to store it elsewhere until divorce is complete.It is sad that the spouse would do this.
I wouldn't give up on this make a list and include it in your divorce.

I wish you the best here with all of this.I know it is hard to deal with sometimes, keep your chin up.

I think you may have to think about whether it is worth the cost of a lawyer here.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I didn't anticipate this from her. That's why I was going to cautiously and hesitantly pursue a no fault divorce. The police asked me if I had any definite proof that she could've taken the items. I have no video surveillance. However, her items in the garage and her mail were gone, so I assume it was her. I have no place to store other items. I'm on the brink of being foreclosed on my house as well
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

You can certainly claim this here,it was premarital.

Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

I hope you can still resolve it.The holidays are weird times, sometimes people can do the unexpected.Hopefully it will sooth out and you can agree to a divorce.Thanks again and the best here.

If you can leave a positive rating when we are done it is always much appreciated.

Thanks again.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
What can I claim here? Based on?
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

You can have a no fault divorce here and divide the assets that are marital.Here it appears these are non marital separate property.Non-marital” assets aka “separate property” include the following:

  • assets acquired by either spouse before marriage
  • assets acquired by gift or inheritance at any time (except for gifts from one spouse to the other that occurred during marriage), and
  • assets acquired by either spouse after the date of separation.
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
The question is, how do I prove that items that were mine prior to the marriage are not "marital property?" Isn't it a matter of he said, she said? And doesn't that complicate the no-fault divorce process? Doesn't it just drag things out more?
Expert:  Ray replied 1 year ago.

It is a matter of he said, she said unless you can have neighbor, relative, etc testify they were yours.If you have any receipts or pictures of them prior to marriage that is also good evidence but not always available.

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