Martinez, CA asked in Divorce for California

Q: Can I get sole property back after divorce?

My divorce was finalized almost 2 years ago. She retained our primary residence, and the stipulation states that any items left in the home after my exit are hers. Items that were my sole personal property (mine before marriage, etc.) were left, and from the start we shared the understanding that she would return these items to me when she found time. She has since dragged her feet, though has acknowledged verbally and in writing that the items are my property. She has now changed her tune, and will not return the items, citing strict interpretation of the stip. These are items gifted to me, family "heirlooms", things from my childhood, etc. - nothing of great monetary value but of sentimental value. Do I have any basis for recourse at all, or do I just chalk it up to experience?

Related Topics:
1 Lawyer Answer
Scott Charles MacCabe
Scott Charles MacCabe
  • San Juan Capistrano, CA
  • Licensed in California

A: You have not only the Judgment working against you but also the delay. However, your situation is similar to so many and I would encourage you to take action. After weighing other factors and how legal action might effect your ongoing relationship with your former wife if any relationship does exist, you can file a motion within your divorce case seeking the return of the property. You could fill out the papers (attaching all the written correspondence, your declaration on the facts, and what you might have supporting that the items are your separate property) with your prior attorney, paralegal, or on your own and then pay a $40 filing fee. You might not prevail, but she might choose to simply return the items to you. Worse yet, she could claim that you already picked the items up - her response is uncertain, but you would know better.

Justia Ask a Lawyer is a forum for consumers to get answers to basic legal questions. Any information sent through Justia Ask a Lawyer is not secure and is done so on a non-confidential basis only.

The use of this website to ask questions or receive answers does not create an attorney–client relationship between you and Justia, or between you and any attorney who receives your information or responds to your questions, nor is it intended to create such a relationship. Additionally, no responses on this forum constitute legal advice, which must be tailored to the specific circumstances of each case. You should not act upon information provided in Justia Ask a Lawyer without seeking professional counsel from an attorney admitted or authorized to practice in your jurisdiction. Justia assumes no responsibility to any person who relies on information contained on or received through this site and disclaims all liability in respect to such information.

Justia cannot guarantee that the information on this website (including any legal information provided by an attorney through this service) is accurate, complete, or up-to-date. While we intend to make every attempt to keep the information on this site current, the owners of and contributors to this site make no claims, promises or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness or adequacy of the information contained in or linked to from this site.