packed up my stuff told me not to come home

She Packed Up My Stuff, Told Me Not to Come Home

Goldberg Jones Divorce Leave a Comment

It’s like something out of a movie or TV show. You come home to find everything you own sitting on the front lawn and your spouse barring you from going inside. Sure, it makes for good drama, but what if it really happens? What if your spouse actually packs up your stuff and tells you not to come home?

Believe it or not, this does happen. It may not always be so drastic, but you might be surprised how often this actually comes up. And when it does happen, it also raises a number of legal questions.

One of our founding partners, Rick Jones, regularly appears on the Danny Bonaduce and Sarah Morning Show. There, he takes family law questions from listeners. During a recent segment, a caller finds himself in this situation. He wants to know what he can do and what are his rights? 

As usual with legal matters, things can get complicated in a hurry. There’s a lot to consider and many different factors can alter the landscape of the situation. For example, ownership of the home changes things. So, do restraining orders. 

It may sound self-serving to tell someone to talk to a divorce lawyer in this situation, but that’s probably the best idea. An attorney looks at the situation, figures out exactly what’s going on, and offers advice about how to proceed without making things worse.

That said, what can you do if your spouse packs up all your stuff and tells you not to come home?

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Listen to the Conversation Below:

Caller: “About 12 days ago I took off on a planned camping trip. And on my drive home I got a call from the wife. She said, “Do not come home. I packed all your stuff up. It’s in your truck at your son’s house.” So, what are my legal rights here? Four days ago, I was served [divorce] papers. She did allow me to come back to the house to get some personal stuff to get by for a few days…What are my legal rights to get in and get other stuff I need? Paperwork I need to do my filing, my bank account statements…”

Danny: “You call a lawyer, man. That’s what you do. Your wife served you without telling you. You had to see this coming, this woman is not out for your best interests. Will you tell him what he should do about this, Rick? Because I don’t know.”

Rick: “Well, the first thing I’m hearing is 12 days ago. Wow, heartless…but it sounds like along with the papers you were served, along with just the divorce filing itself, it sounds like there was some sort of restraining order that doesn’t allow you to come back onto the property for now. Is that correct?”

Caller: “In that paperwork it doesn’t say [anything about a] restraining order. She just said, “Do not come home.” I didn’t know what my legal right was to get in. I own the house.”

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Rick: “And this is where an attorney is going to want to see those documents just to make sure that you’re seeing or reading them correctly. But if there is truly no order there, no restraint signed by the judge, that tells you, you cannot return, then there is nothing to prevent you from returning.

“Now, obviously, that may be asking for trouble. You walk in the door and maybe there’s some sort of a history or a perceived threat of domestic violence. Then the cops are there and things go sideways a little bit 

“But, as long as that’s not the case. For example, if you know she’s not going to be there for a time, which is unlikely these days, you are welcome to go in. She doesn’t have the authority to tell you that you simply can’t come back.”

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