Ask LH: Do I Have To Give My Ex His Stuff Back?

Ask LH: Do I Have To Give My Ex His Stuff Back?
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My ex left me three years ago. We have now been divorced for two years. Until recently I have heard nothing from him but now he wants his stuff back. What should I do? Honestly, I do not want him here. Thanks, Un-Ex-cited

Free stuff picture from Shutterstock

Dear Un-Ex-cited,

We’re not lawyers, but our assumption is that you have no legal obligation here — presumably, any major assets were divided when the divorce was finalised two years ago. It’s not reasonable to expect you to hold onto the rest of his junk indefinitely in the off-chance that he might one day return to claim it.

With that said, you probably don’t want an angry ex on your back. If you still have his things, maybe arrange to have them dropped off with a third party? That way you won’t have to deal with him and everyone is happy.

Before you do this, it’s a good idea to check whether his name is still attached to your property, either as a tenant or homeowner. If so, you’re not supposed to remove his possessions without permission, even though he isn’t living there. (Rubbish and perishable items are excepted.)

If you’re planning to chuck out his stuff, definitely notify him first — preferably by email so there’s an electronic record of your correspondence. If he fails to get back to you, most states and territories allow you to dispose of the items after 14 days.

You can find out what your specific rights are in regards to unclaimed property in each state via the following links:

Have any readers ever been in a similar situation? If so, feel free to share your advice with Un-Ex-cited in the comments section below.


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  • It’s pretty simple.

    You just give back what is his! You know what stuff he has! Give it back and be done with it!

  • It amazes me after that long that they still have any of his stuff.

    Last break up I had, I’m pretty sure everything was thrown / deleted within the week.

  • “he wants his stuff back. What should I do? Honestly”

    You give him the stuff that is his back, if you still have it. You are being a child if you do anything else.

  • As little experience I have with this – (None) – It even seems like a bleeding obvious answer depending on the actual circumstances which have remained out of the field of view here:

    * The fact your divorced means the legal obligation is completed – you don’t legally have to give him anything.
    * The fact you seem to know its his stuff – out of basic human decency give it back.
    * If however he was a complete moron who was cheating/abusive towards you – burn it or pawn it.

    Easy answers 🙂

  • Turn it around. If you had left, and had left things of yours behind, would you want him to do the right thing by you? You don’t have to see him. Just arrange a day where you’ll leave his stuff in a box at the door, and he can pick it up when you’re not home.

  • I would think the answer lies right in the question. It is “his” stuff, and you already acknowledged that. So, let him take it away. Why on earth it would take so long for him to claim it, or for you to hold on to it is another matter entirely.

  • He left you three years ago and now wants his stuff back? He sounds like a dick. Tell him you threw it all out years ago.

    He left you – the onus is on him to collect his shit when he leaves.

  • I don’t get the other “screw him” comments here. You have provided no info on how you parted and add you don’t want him at your place, which would apply to any divorce regardless of fault. You also do not say if children are in the mix or not.

    There is one fact and that is he obviously does want his stuff. I can only speculate here on limited data that perhaps it has been painful for him as much as it clearly is for you and this is why 3 years has passed – guys aren’t good at the emotional stuff.

    So do the right thing by him and give it back via a mutual contact – friend, workmate, cousin, his parents, even your own parents.

    When you marry, you marry your family with his family. So even when divorced – do the right thing by him!

    You decision affects your reputation among a large range of people.

  • After dating my husband for 12 years we are now married 4 months. He tells me he made a mistake marrying me as he is not in love with me and very unhappy. I cannot accept this and do not know how to move forward as he refuses counseling and wants a divorce. After speaking with parents he has said he feels forced to make it work with me but he will and I must accept there will be no happily ever after. We were intimate up till the day he said this to me! Please help I want so much to stay with him as he is all I have ever known and this is killing me and when i search for help on the internet i found this email [email protected] and when i contacted him he help me to solve my problems now am happily back with my husband and family i want to say big thank you to this great man called priest Oduma if you need ant kind of help you can call on him +2348153363047 and you will have a reason to be happy again …. [email protected] OR call +2348153363047

  • My name is METINA I want to use this golden medium to appreciate Dr OGUNBO a great spell caster for helping me retrieving back my relationship with my ex wife back when he ended and turned back on me for quite a long time now 5 months ago.i never thought my ex wife will come back to me again,i am very happy at last that my ex wife is back to me,who left me six months to our wedding just because of some little misunderstanding,But today we are married and we are expecting our little baby,i sincerely want to say thanks to Dr OGUNBO for helping me cast the spell that brings her back to me,i am grateful and happier than ever before,Thank You Doctor for helping me, and if you are also having problem in your relationship or any part of life,his email [email protected]

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