One woman's quest to move on after she discovered that her husband was cheating on her made national news this week when reporters saw the humorous but angry classified advertisement that she posted online. The ad listed various items that belonged to her husband, including his favorite couch and his tools, neither of which she seems to be very fond of. The advertisement was for a sale over the weekend, when the woman knew her soon-to-be-ex would be out of town with his new girlfriend.
While it might seem like a good idea at the time to start selling off belongings and moving on towards a new phase of life, this type of conduct can have consequences later on in the divorce process when a financial settlement is being arranged. Selling items for an unreasonably low price or giving things away could end up reducing the total award for the spouse that disposed of the items improperly. There is a good argument to be made for household goods and furniture that was purchased during the marriage with shared funds which may give either or both spouses authority to sell or dispose of them at any time, but the specifics of the situation often dictate the appropriate course of action.
So instead of throwing everything on the driveway and placing a classified ad, it may be better in the long run to move unwanted items to a storage unit or to box them up and keep them in the basement until the soon-to-be-ex spouse has an opportunity to remove them and do what they choose.
Source: Huffington Post, "Cheating Spouse: Woman Seeks Revenge on Cheating Husband By Selling His Belongings," March 14, 2013.
Information about asset and property division during a divorce can be found on our Columbus family law site.