The First Time Your Ex Commits an Act of Larceny
(Provided by Tomi Tuel, Author of 101 Things I Learned After My Divorce)

Let me just say this, protect, protect, protect. Whether you believe it or not, if you reside in the residence you and your ex shared and your ex has moved out, there is the chance that even after a petition for divorce has been filed they will try to “get a few of their things”. And why wouldn’t they if you haven’t changed the locks or scrambled the garage door remote? It’s not a matter of “if,” but “when” they will try this and you will feel incredibly violated.

My girlfriend explained it to me like this. “I even felt violated after my ex entered my house just to give me a birthday card. There, next to the chocolate cake I made, was his card wishing me a happy birthday with a note that said farewell. I was peeved more than anything that he could just waltz right into my house when I wasn’t home. It made me wonder how many other times he was there without my knowledge.”

My dear cousin went through a similar situation, only her ex came over to pick up a few things out of the garage. He had called her and, when she didn’t answer, left a message that he was “swinging by”, knowing full well she was at work and wouldn’t be there. He still had the garage door remote nine months after he moved out and well after the petition for divorce was served. At this point he had his own place complete with a new girlfriend, yet he still felt he had this right.

In general, larceny is defined as the taking and carrying away of the property of another without the consent of the rightful owner, with the intent to permanently deprive him or her of the property taken. It is considered either a misdemeanor or a felony depending on the value of the property taken. So, if there is no live communication and no agreed upon items to be taken, and no permission to enter the home, then to me that sounds and smells like some degree of larceny – and you don’t want to “go there” with the ex.

It is so vitally important to protect yourself for peace of mind. A few of my top recommendations include:

1. Install an alarm system (most alarm companies will work with you on a price if you tell them your circumstances.)

2. Change the garage door remote code. In the meantime, lock your garage door at night. There is a lock switch on the manual operation bottom on most openers. Make sure all members of the family know how to unlock it in case there is ever an emergency to exit the house.

3. Change your locks. All of them (house and car).

4. Install a mail slot in your door or wall near your door. You will want all your mail safely inside, inaccessible to anyone but you.

5. Take a self-defense class or two.

Information provided by:
Tomi Tuel, Author of 101 Things I Learned After My Divorce