Having been monitoring this forum for quite sometime now, I would like to pose my conundrum in the hope that somebody can help me.
To cut a long story short, I’ve basically been replaced by a much younger model. As a result of this I left the Martial home (in the middle of 2007) and I’m now renting privately close by which enables me to see my two children as often as possible. I’ve come to realise that even though I thought I had taken all of my personal belongings there are still some items left in the FMH which I would like. The problem is, even though when my Ex-Wife To Be and I first separated things were quite amicable, now they most certainly are not. She is now living in the FMH (my house as well) with my replacement and my two children and even though I’ve nicely asked for my things, there’s always some kind of excuse that comes back to why I can’t have them.. I’ll sort them out when I’ve got time, or I’m not sure where they are.. blah blah that sort of thing.
I would like to know if anybody can tell me where I stand if I re-enter the FMH with my Key (the locks haven’t been changed) and collected my belongings whilst nobody is in. This would be the only way I could retrieve them without there being any altercations.
Where do I stand from the point of view of the law, after all it is MY HOUSE.
Mmmmmmmmmm, tricky one. Had a similar situation myself, but back to front.
It is a civil matter, and to be honest, the police would be loathe to get involved.
If the locks have not been changed, then you are not breaking in.
However, the fact of the matter is that you left the house last year, and have a new home. So it is not your home any longer.
You have asked nicely for the things to be returned, but silly excuses is all you have received.
If you were to enter the house, I think that you would be trespassing, even though it is still your house.
If you did enter the house, you can guarantee that it would be the last time you ever did, because she could call that harrassment and depending on her and her legal advice, she may try to get a non-molestation order on you.
If it were me, legally or not, this is what I would do.
Write to her (directly or through her solicitor if she is using one) detailing exactly what it is that you want, and asking her to deliver the items to you, or justify why she won't within 7 days. Send the letter Recorded Delivery.
If no response within 7 days, enter the house when it is empty, take the stuff.
Write her a further letter saying that you have removed the items, and touched nothing else. Again, recorded delivery.
She will be sooooo angry, so I trust that the things you require are worth the obvious problems that will follow.
You also need to think about the impact on your access to the children that she might exercise.
Only you can gauge that.
I stress that this is purely my opinion, and not advice based on any legal knowledge or training.
Thanks for your detailed reply, I appreciate you taking time out to answer my query. Oh, and don't worry I realise its not advice you're dishing out and its only your opinion . Some useful tips and ideas which I've taken on board.
Some of the items in the FMH are not entirely mine, but they belong to both my xw2b and myself. For example, one of my beefs is I've not got any pictures of my children when they were baby's. She's not willing to part with anything, even of photos of just me with my children. The old saying “Possession is nine tenths of the law” really does have new meaning for me now.
Probably not an answer to your original question but a comment on "possesions" from the FMH.
As part of my financial settlement I had Ex's agreement on a list (very small) of items I would get from the FMH. The list included all personal items belonging to me. Did I get them...not a chance in hell. Clothes have disappeared, books of which I had hundreds gone but my main worry is the photos. I was supposed to get half of the kids photos. Over six months later and I'm still waiting. I asked about 3 months ago and he asked for time! I think now it is a lost cause. Thankfully my mum found some but somehow its not the same.
This is from the man who had photos of his dogs on his office wall, not wife and kids. I wonder who was more important.
I hope you get what you are looking for and it all works out for you.
I'm so sorry to hear that you haven't been able to get a lot of your personal items from your FMH, I can honestly say I do understand. To deliberately withhold items which belong to you is simply being spiteful, no matter what the circumstances. I mean for goodness sake, what is your Ex going to need with your clothes! Also, a book collection doesn't just take a few months to build up, it can take a life time. And yes, the photos.. this has been a big issue with me. In the front room of my FMH there are beautiful photos of my children when they were first born, I'm talking on the day in the hospital! My xw2b and my replacement whom is 11 years younger than myself are enjoying them all now. I try not to be too bitter, but it does have a tendency to start eating me up inside if I let it. (Thank goodness for Wikivorce eh !)
My xw2b seems to think that because she lives in the house (my house too) where the items reside, that its up to her whether or not I'm allowed to have them. It doesn't seem to matter that one of the items in question my mother bought me prior to even marrying my x-partner, or for that matter even knowing her!
Whatever you do Tinny, don't give it up to a lost cause.. keep trying. Hold on to the thought that those photos were taken of the children by both of you, therefore they belong to both of you. I've even suggested that I borrow the photos so I could obtain copies from somewhere like Asda or Tesco, but no.. like you I get the, I haven't got time excuse or I don't know where they are, basically a fob off.
Keep trying, don't give up and most of all take care.
Thanks. Clothes can be replaced (I did get some but think others have been destroyed), so can books but the photos cant. Time has passed I cant replace photos of babies now they are not babies anymore. I havent let it drop and wont.
It all gets so petty and after a while possessions dont seem as important anymore. Your happiness and future are what you need to concentrate on but family gifts/heirlooms etc how can anyone else justifiably (sp) claim possession of these.
You are about 6 months in and probably look around your rented place and miss having your own things around you. Snap, I felt lie that too. But you know, nearly 2 years later I have recently moved into MY house, I'm surrounded by my things and the old stuff doesnt matter so much (apart from the photos).