Can a husband throw away his separated or divorced wife's mail?

  • 3
    Possible duplicate of Is it illegal to throw away the previous tenant's mail?
    – Dale M
    Sep 28, 2017 at 21:15
  • You can file a formal complaint with the USPS, w.r.t. obstruction of correspondence, unless you have a door slot. This will not solve your problem, but it is a thing you can do.
    – user6726
    Sep 28, 2017 at 23:54
  • What you are alleging is potentially a crime. Have you considered filing a police report?
    – Patrick87
    Sep 29, 2017 at 1:12
  • 1
    Are they living together? Are they in the process of divorcing? Where is this?
    – ohwilleke
    Sep 29, 2017 at 6:11
  • Please add to your question how the exhusband is getting access to the mail and what country you are in. Sep 29, 2017 at 17:04

1 Answer 1


You would need to change the address of the mail you are receiving, or get a Post Office box that your husband has no access to. Then file to have your mail forwarded to the new address. If you get a post office box, make sure that he has no access to it. If he is not living with you, file a complaint that he is stealing from your mail box. You can get a restraining order. If you are still living together, then he has legal access to the mail box.

The Postal carrier is required to put the mail in the box for the address to which it is being delivered. Once you have a different address or post office box, then they can deliver the mail to the new address.

The Postal carrier cannot prevent anyone from stealing from a box with no lock. They can protect a Post Office Box in the post office as that will have a lock and key.

Of course you should consult your divorce attorney.

  • It is still not legal to obstruct correspondence, per 18 USC 1702: "Whoever takes any letter... out of any ... authorized depository for mail matter... before it has been delivered to the person to whom it was directed, with design to obstruct the correspondence...shall be fined under this title or imprisoned ....". Mailboxes are authorized depositories (door slots are not). Putting it in the mail box is not delivering it to the person to whom it is directed.
    – user6726
    Sep 28, 2017 at 23:57
  • @user6726 The point that I was making was that she needs to set up a situation to prevent the husband from stealing the mail. If they are separated and not living together, he is not authorized to take mail from the mail box. If they are still living together and his mail is also delivered to the same box, then he is allowed to take mail from the box and the postmaster cannot do anything. Sep 29, 2017 at 0:05

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