The end of any relationship can be difficult, but some breakups are more emotional than others. At times, the tension can escalate into a verbal or physical confrontation. If you or your former spouse must remove belongings from the home, it may be a good choice to hire one of the moving companies to handle this potentially difficult task. When professional movers come on scene and one or both of you are not present, it can defuse the situation. This is provided that there is no contention about who owns which belongings. If you will be present and fear for your personal safety, it may be appropriate to have a law enforcement officer on scene or a neutral friend by your side. If the situation escalates into a confrontation, do your best to step away and make every effort to not respond to your former partner. When hiring the professionals, let them know ahead of time the situation as it stands and what they can anticipate.
Establishing Ownership of Possessions
In advance of the move, it’s important to be clear about who owns what items. Though there may have been verbal agreements at one time, it can come down to who has receipts for which possessions. Receipts are a form of proof and can be more persuasive in court than a memory of a conversation during which time your former partner gave you the object in question. This may not be fair, but by the time your moving company arrives to remove your or your former partner’s belongings, it’s best to have mutual clarity. If the two of you come to an agreement about splitting up your possessions, get the agreement in writing. During this emotional time, it is easy for confusion to develop on both sides and a written agreement can be beneficial to both of you.
Pack in Advance
With a clear, written agreement in place there is no reason not to pack the belongings ahead of time. If this is not possible for some reason, your moving company may offer packing as one of their services. However, understand that it is not their responsibility to step between yourself and your former partner to pack items whose ownership is in question. If possible, move the items to be removed from the home to a central location such as the corner of the garage or a single room. If there are items that need to go to the dump, your moving company may do this for you as long as you provide them with advanced notice. The more organized you are, the faster that the moving company can leave the home, and the sooner you can put this chapter behind you.
Provide Access to the Moving Company
If you will not be present when the movers arrive, make sure they will have access to where they need to pick up the belongings. This may mean leaving a key with a trusted neighbor whose contact information you give to the moving company, or a key hidden in a safe location. Whatever arrangement you make, be sure to have a backup plan in case things do not work out as planned.