How to get your stuff back after a break-up

How to get your stuff back after a break-up

Is your ex partner refusing to give back what’s yours? You have legal rights and we can help.

If you’ve been through a breakup and are having trouble getting your stuff back, be it a car, jewellery, furniture or a pet, here are some practical steps you can take to recover what is rightfully yours:-

Talk to your Ex partner

If you own goods that your ex partner has, you should first talk to them and let them know you want these items back.

If this doesn’t work you could try mediation. Mediation is an informal, problem-solving process in which an impartial person (a mediator) helps people with a dispute reach an agreement. Community Justice Centres (CJC) offer a free and confidential mediation service which has a 75% success rate. Contact a CJC near you on 1800 990 777.

Send your Ex partner a letter

If you haven’t been successful in talking to your ex partner about getting your goods back, or you can’t contact them by phone, you could try sending them a letter.

This is sometimes called a letter of demand. Be sure to mention the following points in your letter:-

  • what items you want back;
  • that you own the items and they have no legal right to keep them;
  • how much the items are worth;
  • whether you will accept money as payment for the items instead of their return;
  • when the items should be returned, including the date and time;
  • how the items should be returned, for example, delivery or collected by you;
  • that legal proceedings may be commenced if the items are not returned or payment made by the time specified in the letter.

If you need help writing a letter of demand, phone Brazel Moore Family Lawyers today on (02) 4324 7699 to make an appointment with one of our specialist lawyers.

Commence Local Court proceedings

Remember, it is often worthwhile trying to resolve the issue with your ex partner without going to Court. Court proceedings are time consuming and costly.

However, if you’ve tried the steps above and your ex partner is still refusing to give you back your things, you can start a case in Court.

The Court has powers to:-

  • make an order that your ex return the items to you;
  • if your ex partner has lost or destroyed the items, make an order that your ex pay you the value of the items;
  • make an order that your ex pay you an additional amount in damages for not returning the items to you.

If you’re thinking about starting a court case you should get legal advice. There are time limits to commencing proceedings, filing fees and formalities in the documents which must be lodged, and legal rules regarding serving your ex partner which must be considered.

A family lawyer will also be able to tell you whether there are other legal ways to get the items back from your ex. For example, a Property Recovery Order in a situation involving an Apprehended Domestic Violence Order may be appropriate, or there may be other options under the family law legislation.

It is always important to seek legal advice to find the best way to solve your problem. For more information, call Brazel Moore Family Lawyers on (02) 4324 7699 to speak to an experienced Solicitor today.