Columbus, OH asked in Divorce for Indiana

Q: When a couple decides to get a divorce, can the husband or the wife take anything out of the house prior to the divorce?

This would be when they're still living together but they decide they no longer want to live together and they're going to get a divorce but have not filed for divorce. I want to know if my husband can legally take any possession he wants out of the house

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1 Lawyer Answer
William J Webster
William J Webster
  • Westfield, IN
  • Licensed in Indiana

A: Unfortunately, until there is an Order from the Court or you reach an agreement as to who gets possession of certain property both of you own the property. Therefore there is not much you can do to prevent your spouse from removing property from the marital residence. I recommend taking pictures and/or making a list of all the property in the house that your husband has removed. He is not supposed to "dissipate" assets, meaning get rid of property, therefore if items come up missing or he denies taking said property, then you have a record you can show your attorney or the judge.

Once a petition for dissolution is filed, then you can request a Preliminary Hearing and request the Court make temporary orders in regard to who has possession of what property until the divorce is finalized. Once you have a Court order in place, then your spouse cannot take whatever property he wants out of the marital residence.

If your spouse is simply taking whatever he wants, I would also recommend you review bank accounts, retirement accounts, etc... to make sure he is not making transfers and/or withdraws.

If you have any other questions, please feel free to contact me at 317-565-1818.


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