Etiquette Hell

General Etiquette => Life...in general => Topic started by: lynnetteleigh on February 01, 2013, 10:56:46 PM

Title: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 01, 2013, 10:56:46 PM
I'm in a situation now where the ex of my DH has asked for items from when their son was an infant because she is now pregnant. She moved out nearly 3 years ago.
She was not stopped from taking these items she probably just didn't see the use for them then. When asking for us to search the attic for these items she mentioned that we(my DH and I) would not need these items because my family would buy me baby stuff when I do decide to have kids.

Honestly at this point we do not even know what baby stuff is in the attic and it is hard to check because it is blocked by a stack of other things and we also have primary custody of their son and he makes any task(especially one involving a ladder into a location he hasn't seen before) more difficult.

I told my DH to just say that most of the stuff is gone because we have been trying to clear out the house to sell. Is it rude to lie like this? She didn't buy most of these items, doesn't pay child support and doesn't live nearby(hundreds of miles away) so we don't really feel obligated to give her these items. But does anyone think she has a right to these? Are we really obligated to go dig them out because they belonged to her child at some point?

I may be biased in this because she has asked in the past for clothing of his(that I had bought for him) to give to her nephews. But the way she did it left a sour taste in my mouth. She didn't ask if we were willing to give her the clothes. She asked if it could be packed up and brought to her the next time she saw her son. Then when she was told no started arguing that by the time that I had kids the clothing would be outdated.

We will be seeing her within the week and I'm fairly sure this topic will come up and I want to know what is acceptable to say in this situation.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: sparksals on February 01, 2013, 11:01:48 PM
Well, I can see why she wouldn't want you to have the things her first child had and if you and your husband do have children, do you want them to have dusty dirty clothes from the attic? 

If it is too much trouble to get the stuff, then say so.   But if you ever get up there, it woudl be nice for you to clear out the stuff that she wants.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sophia on February 01, 2013, 11:07:45 PM
If she wanted them, she could have gotten them before. 

Since you are selling the house, when you do dig back to those items, you could sort through the stuff and pass on to her what you and your husband don't want.  There is nothing inherently wrong with clothes that were stored in the attic. My daughter wore some of the my clothes that had spent 40 years in the attic.  Kids clothes don't have fashion.  They are quality or not. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 01, 2013, 11:49:47 PM
This seems to me to be the perfect time to use "that won't be possible." Sure you could go to great lengths to get her the stuff, but really its a big imposition on your life right now and really just not something you are willing or able to do... and would she do the same for you if the situation was reversed? And how dare she say what your family can and will purchase?  If your family can provide for your future kids, her family can provide for hers!  In the meantime, so sad, too bad, how 'bout that beandip?
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: sparksals on February 02, 2013, 12:11:13 AM
I would think it odd that you would want the clothing that she and her husband used for their child?  Let's face it, the mother has more sentimentality than the father in most cases.   Since you are moving soon, I thikn it would be nice to sort through them at that time, but you don't have to go to any big effort until then.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Aeris on February 02, 2013, 12:27:14 AM
I would think it odd that you would want the clothing that she and her husband used for their child?  Let's face it, the mother has more sentimentality than the father in most cases.   Since you are moving soon, I thikn it would be nice to sort through them at that time, but you don't have to go to any big effort until then.

Why is this so odd? Considering that the OP and her husband have primary custody of the child in question, it's probably less "things my husband's ex used for her child" and more "things my husband and I used for his son, who we have primary custody of".

I understand why the child's mother wants them too. I don't think either one is particularly 'odd'.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: sparksals on February 02, 2013, 12:38:31 AM
I would think it odd that you would want the clothing that she and her husband used for their child?  Let's face it, the mother has more sentimentality than the father in most cases.   Since you are moving soon, I thikn it would be nice to sort through them at that time, but you don't have to go to any big effort until then.

Why is this so odd? Considering that the OP and her husband have primary custody of the child in question, it's probably less "things my husband's ex used for her child" and more "things my husband and I used for his son, who we have primary custody of".

I understand why the child's mother wants them too. I don't think either one is particularly 'odd'.

Yes, that makes sense.  Personally, if I were in the situation and I was to have another child of my own, I wouldn't want to use the clothes from the first child.  I would want to have fun choose clothes, allowing family to buy them b/c it is fun for them etc. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: christmascarol on February 02, 2013, 12:57:51 AM
Quote
I'm in a situation now where the ex of my DH has asked for items from when their son was an infant because she is now pregnant. She moved out nearly 3 years ago.
She was not stopped from taking these items she probably just didn't see the use for them then. When asking for us to search the attic for these items she mentioned that we(my DH and I) would not need these items because my family would buy me baby stuff when I do decide to have kids.


The OP says items, not clothing.  I'm thinking much bigger and costlier items than clothing.  I don't think the OP and her husband have any obligation to give up anything at all, just to save the ex money, when the ex didn't purchase them originally.  And that would be even if the ex was contributing to her son's welfare, which she isn't.

Quote
When asking for us to search the attic for these items she mentioned that we(my DH and I) would not need these items because my family would buy me baby stuff when I do decide to have kids.


My jaw hit the floor at this.  Unbelievable. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Penguin_ar on February 02, 2013, 06:02:33 AM
After 3 years, she has no claim on the items (assuming it doesn't say anything in the divorce decree).
I think it would be nice to give her a few sentimental things, but be sure to also keep some-not just for your potential future children, but for your step son who may want his kids to have them.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: cicero on February 02, 2013, 06:16:35 AM
wow.

let me see:
she wants things that:
(a) if they belong to anyone , then they belong to her and her ex /your DH jointly
(b) have been in your attic for 3 years
(c) are things that were used for the child who is now in the custody of you and your husband

i wouldn't give them to her. if she comes by, say "that won't be possible".

she has a lot of nerve - telling you that if you have a baby your family will buy you things, or asking for items that *you* bought for her child.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: bonyk on February 02, 2013, 06:17:41 AM
A lot of baby gear has an 'expiration'  date.  For example, I think car seats should be destroyed after 3 years (maybe it's 5?).  I don't know how old the stuff is, but it might be simpler to google the expected life of the items than to retrieve them.  Then you can just say that you got rid of the expired stuff.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 02, 2013, 08:35:41 AM
She sounds like a real pill to deal with.

But part of me says just go ahead and give her the stuff. It sound like she moved out of the family home, so may not had a place to store the items she thought she might want later.

And you do say your planning to clean out the attic to prepare for selling at some point.

If it was me, I'd ask a friend to come over and entertain DD, or get your DH to get a friend to come over to help him pull things out of the attic. Give her anything you don't want but tell her it is the last.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sharnita on February 02, 2013, 08:46:34 AM
I'm confused by the "she didn't buy it". thing.  Who did?  If they were gifts then is there any way of knowing whether they were from her family/friends or his?  If the items were bought from their shared expenses back when they were married, then I would say "they" bought them.  If they kepr somlpete different accounts and only he paid for baby items that would strike me as unusual. Did they divorce before the baby was even born?

As far as wanting to use timens from the previos baby - heck, yeah.  Not everything of course but a lot of things.  Some things do expire or need to be replaced but there are also plenty of things that wear well.  It can also be bonding for older sibs to know that the younger one has a shared experience/toy/whatever.

It sounds like it would be a lot of work to haul the stuff out but once it was gone it would create more storage room.  Is there any way you could tell her she or the father to be have to come pull it out?
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: CrochetFanatic on February 02, 2013, 09:24:00 AM
Just say you can't find it.  You said you have an idea where it is, but you don't know exactly, and there's a bunch of stuff in the way.  You don't have to explain, just say you don't know where it is.  Not quite a lie, and can't be argued with.

I made the mistake of saying, "Yeah, I think I know where it is" when my uncle wanted me to give back a toy he had given to me when I was really little.  He wasn't asking for the return of a borrowed item, he was asking me to part with something that had been mine for most of my life.  It turned into a huge deal on FB private messages when I told him that this wasn't going to happen, and he changed his approach.  What had been a gift suddenly changed from being "given" to "lent".  His argument was that it had been his toy when he grew up, and he wanted his kids to enjoy it as he had.  Well...it was also my toy when I was growing up, and it has sentimental value to me.  I'd had no objections to the girls playing with it, but I'm afraid to even compromise and bring it up for his toddlers to play with at this point.  I wouldn't put it past him to take it, saying, "I'm not stealing anything!  It's mine!"  The subject wasn't raised again after I didn't respond to his last message, though.

I don't mean to hijack the thread, so getting back on track.  If she wanted to save the clothes for later, she should have held on to some of them in my opinion.  If you don't know where the clothes are, and are too busy to look, there isn't much she can do.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TootsNYC on February 02, 2013, 10:31:36 AM
hundreds of miles away?

Personally, I'd ask her what her plan is for their actual physical transfer. And when she needs them.

I'd be willing to dig them out of the attic--there's a way, even if it is difficult, and I'm not a fan of saying, "oh, it's too hard." So the little kid likes to get into things, etc.? Let him come along--it'll be an education for him. Or go dig them out when he's away for some reason--find one. You only need 1/2 hour, probably.

But I wouldn't be willing to do that AND mail or ship them, or store them somewhere really inconvenient, or take them along to wherever we were meeting her.
 
And I wouldn't be willing to dig them out under a short time frame.

But no, Etiquette doesn't care if you lie--so it wouldn't be "rude." It might be something that Character or Morality would care about, but you get to decide those things in this instance, I think.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Perfect Circle on February 02, 2013, 10:58:13 AM
I would dig them out of my attic just for the space aspect. If she could come and pick them up I would absolutely give them to her. If you are going to see her anyway and you have the space again I would just give them to her.



Honestly at this point we do not even know what baby stuff is in the attic and it is hard to check because it is blocked by a stack of other things and we also have primary custody of their son and he makes any task(especially one involving a ladder into a location he hasn't seen before) more difficult.


I don't quite understand this as an issue. There's two of you - surely one of you could entertain the child while the other one got the things out of the attic.

Unless you are planning to use the things yourself in the future I don't see any reason not to return them to her.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sharnita on February 02, 2013, 11:00:29 AM
What does DH want to do? 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Jocelyn on February 02, 2013, 11:20:48 AM
I think it would be fine to tell her that, as you ready for your move, you'll keep an eye out for the items, and when/if you find them, you'll let her know when she can pick them up before you move.
I can see her expecting that you will either deliver them to her house, or that you will move them to your new home so she can get them at a convenient time...say, in another couple of years. Neither one should be an option. If these things are important enough to her that you should make a special effort to find them when it's NOT convenient for you, then she should be expected to inconvenience herself a little to come get them when you DO find them.

I moved into my current house in late July, but I actually rented the house in mid-June. It was vacant at that time. After I'd been here a couple of months, a guy knocked on the door and said that he was the previous tenant (he gave the name of the previous tenant, which I knew because of misdelivered mail) and that his girlfriend wanted back the pots and pans she'd left behind when they moved out. Four months earlier. I told him that there was nothing in the cabinets when I'd rented the house. He muttered about the landlord stealing their stuff. Seriously. He also asked about assorted stuff he'd left in the garage, including a workbench he'd built from scrap lumber. I told him that the other items were not in the garage when I rented the house, and that I was using the workbench as storage shelving. (I only admitted it was still there because it's visible from a window). I wanted to say, 'Sir, you should have taken it with you when you left. At the very least, you could have carried it out of the garage and left it in the driveway, so you could come back and get it at your convenience during the weeks prior to my moving in.' (we had a horrible drought last summer, there was very little risk that it could have been damaged due to rain during that time) There was no way I was going to go out to the garage and move all my stuff so he could get to it...especially since I could see he didn't have a suitable vehicle for removing it! I suppose he expected me to make an appointment so he could come get it...whenever. I was not about to have it standing in the driveway for me to drive around...
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 02, 2013, 11:26:03 AM
What does DH want to do?

'Zactly. His ex-wife. His baby's things.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Shoo on February 02, 2013, 11:40:33 AM
I would dig them out of my attic just for the space aspect. If she could come and pick them up I would absolutely give them to her. If you are going to see her anyway and you have the space again I would just give them to her.



Honestly at this point we do not even know what baby stuff is in the attic and it is hard to check because it is blocked by a stack of other things and we also have primary custody of their son and he makes any task(especially one involving a ladder into a location he hasn't seen before) more difficult.


I don't quite understand this as an issue. There's two of you - surely one of you could entertain the child while the other one got the things out of the attic.

Unless you are planning to use the things yourself in the future I don't see any reason not to return them to her.

I agree.  This sounds like a pretty weak excuse to me.

If you don't want the woman to have her child's things, then just tell her no.  But I can't imagine why you wouldn't just give them to her. You don't mention why the child lives with his father and you, but unless the mother abandoned him at birth, she was around to receive these things as gifts or purchase them with her husband for the child, which makes me think she has just as much right to them as your husband does.  I wouldn't go to any extra trouble, other than getting them out of the attic, though.  I certainly wouldn't mail them to her.  If she's willing to come and get them, I think you should give them to her.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: LadyR on February 02, 2013, 11:59:35 AM
I would think it odd that you would want the clothing that she and her husband used for their child?  Let's face it, the mother has more sentimentality than the father in most cases.   Since you are moving soon, I thikn it would be nice to sort through them at that time, but you don't have to go to any big effort until then.

Why is this so odd? Considering that the OP and her husband have primary custody of the child in question, it's probably less "things my husband's ex used for her child" and more "things my husband and I used for his son, who we have primary custody of".

I understand why the child's mother wants them too. I don't think either one is particularly 'odd'.

Yes, that makes sense.  Personally, if I were in the situation and I was to have another child of my own, I wouldn't want to use the clothes from the first child.  I would want to have fun choose clothes, allowing family to buy them b/c it is fun for them etc. 

I think the clothes were a serpeate issue, the OP says the mother wanted the stuff teh son was outgrowing to pass onto her nephews, even though it was stuff the OP had picked out.

In this case with the baby items, I feel like she has some claim to them as they belonged to her son, but I can't understand the annoyance/inconvience. I also agree with the PP who mentioned expiry dates. Cribs have changed regulations in the last couple years, car seats expire after 5-6 years, etc.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: mich3554 on February 02, 2013, 12:11:46 PM
If you are trying to clear items out of the house so you can sell it, why not give her the items she wants?

I wouldn't mail them to her, but there is no reason why she can't pick them up (or have someone else pick them up) herself.

Other than the items may be a pain to get to (and like others have said, the child seeing a ladder really is no excuse), it seems like this is a win-win situation for you. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: JenJay on February 02, 2013, 12:14:13 PM
I would tell her she could come over and look in the attic, see what was still useable and take what she could use. I would not dig it out for her or haul it to her. That is, unless your DH is looking forward to using the items for your future child(ren), in which case he should tell her no.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 02, 2013, 12:25:22 PM
Just to clarify a few things.

We are fairly sure there are no baby clothes in the attic(think she gave them away years ago). If she wanted those I wouldn't mind. I don't really want to be dressing any future children in clothes she picked out for her son. However she didn't really ask for clothes. She asked for us to pretty much go find any baby related item and bring it to her within a week. Also regarding expired items I'm pretty sure she gave the carseats away. We tossed the crib soon as stepson grew out of it.

 I know I had some weak excuses around going into the attic. However it is a 2 person job to get anything out of there and it's winter and freezing up there. We just really don't want to go in there and weren't planning on it anytime in the near future. Having the extra storage up there isn't really an issue either as it's no where near full. DH also really doesn't want to give her these because in his mind it's like giving her money and he did want to reuse some of these items.

Also we would have to pack any of these items up and take them with us when we were picking up/dropping off their son. Plus the phrasing of it wasn't "Could you please look for these items when you get a chance". It was more "I want you to check the attic within the next week for these items."
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Perfect Circle on February 02, 2013, 12:29:31 PM
I think she's unreasonable with her week timeline but I don't think she's unreasonable in asking for those items. Just bite the bullet and get them to her at your convenience. I mean what else will you do with them and why antagonise her over some baby items? As there is a child involved I assume she is going to be in your lives for a long time yet and something like this really does not seem worth it to jeopardise that relationship.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Amara on February 02, 2013, 12:36:31 PM
Is your husband willing to go through the attic with her while you are out somewhere with your children? That way, they could decide who takes or keeps what. I know the attic would be cold, but if this is something that could be done in less than an hour it would make your eventual clean-out (required for the sale) easier.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: JenJay on February 02, 2013, 12:36:47 PM
Just to clarify a few things.

We are fairly sure there are no baby clothes in the attic(think she gave them away years ago). If she wanted those I wouldn't mind. I don't really want to be dressing any future children in clothes she picked out for her son. However she didn't really ask for clothes. She asked for us to pretty much go find any baby related item and bring it to her within a week. Also regarding expired items I'm pretty sure she gave the carseats away. We tossed the crib soon as stepson grew out of it.

 I know I had some weak excuses around going into the attic. However it is a 2 person job to get anything out of there and it's winter and freezing up there. We just really don't want to go in there and weren't planning on it anytime in the near future. Having the extra storage up there isn't really an issue either as it's no where near full. DH also really doesn't want to give her these because in his mind it's like giving her money and he did want to reuse some of these items.

Also we would have to pack any of these items up and take them with us when we were picking up/dropping off their son. Plus the phrasing of it wasn't "Could you please look for these items when you get a chance". It was more "I want you to check the attic within the next week for these items."

Your husband should just tell her no. I'd say "I don't have anything to give you. There are only a couple of Son'sName's things in the attic and I'm planning to use them. Everything else was tossed or donated a long time ago." Actually, he should leave it at "I don't have anything to give you." The rest of it is none of her business.  ;)
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: GrammarNerd on February 02, 2013, 12:39:12 PM
"Oh, it's quite a production to get the stuff out of the attic, and we just didn't have time this week.  Why don't you let me know specifically what you're interested in and we'll see.  We'll eventually want some of those things too, so we'll figure out a way to split them up."

I suppose that unless it was specified in the divorce, they might be technically yours.  But it would be nice to give her a token few things that you don't care about, and then she can't say that you didn't give her anything; you can say that you split them.  But don't jump through hoops to do it.  Make her tell you what she wants, specifically, and then get it out of the attic on your own schedule, whatever that may be.  And then make her pick it up.  You're not a furniture store with on-demand delivery.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 02, 2013, 12:48:14 PM
When I lived in a house with an attic, we never opened it up in the winter.  It would have taken a big emergency to do so, as it would have resulted in quite a bit of heat loss.  The roof wasn't insulted, rather the attic floor was, so opening the trap door and moving the insulation would have meant tons of expensive heat would go up and out freezing the whole home.  And it would be so cold up there, one would have to wear their coat, hat & gloves no different then being outside or in a shed.  The ladder would also block off 2 rooms and a closet rendering them useless as long as the ladder was down. The trap door could not be closed while the ladder was down, and it would not be safe to pull the ladder up while someone was up there (they would be trapped).

If your set up is even remotely like that, I see no reasonable argument for you going up and searching through random boxes and crates looking for the vague instruction of "any baby stuff".  If she asked for something specifically, like a particular piece of furniture or specific toys, maybe she'd have a reasonable request, but even then unless there was something pressing in regard to timeline, it wouldn't be happening in the winter!
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sharnita on February 02, 2013, 12:53:45 PM
But were any of the baby related items gifts they got or purchases they made when they were still together? Might some of them have been gifts specifically from "her side"? Denying her a baby item her aunt might have given her because it would be like giving her money strikes me as petty. Even if it was a purchase they made together, it would be their mobey, not his money. Obviously their are a lot of background details that might make a big difference, this is just a bit confusing to me.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: JenJay on February 02, 2013, 12:54:01 PM
Can I ask those of you advocating for giving the ex the items (or half of them) why? I'm genuinely curious.

If I'm understanding the OP - the ex gave away the boy's clothing as he outgrew it and then left the other items behind when she moved out. Three years have gone by and she never expressed any interest in the stuff. Meanwhile, as the boy has outgrown things, OP and her husband have been tossing what couldn't be reused and storing what could. Now the ex wants the stuff not for sentimental reasons, but because she figures it's there and it used to belong to her so why shouldn't she get it instead of having to replace it? OP and her DH had intended to use it for their own future child and they've been the ones who've stored it these past years. Why is the ex entitled to any of it? I understand the ex asking but if OP and her DH want to keep whatever is in their attic why shouldn't they?

I agree that they should offer her anything they definitely don't want, but I personally would not be willing to dig it out, move it somewhere more accessible (garage, spare room, etc.) and take it to her at her convenience or hold it for her. She'd be welcome to come over and get it out of the attic herself.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Perfect Circle on February 02, 2013, 12:59:34 PM
I just think it's petty not to give her items unless the OP's partner has use for them. I don't believe in holding into things just to be difficult. I also don't think the OP needs to go the attic today or tomorrow, but I see no reason to lie or just to say no.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sharnita on February 02, 2013, 01:02:37 PM
I don't know that wanting it for practical reasons as opposed to sentimental make the  request less valid. And it certainly makes some sense to use them for a present child as opposed to holding them for a potential child. Furthermore, as I mentioned, some of the items might have been gifts from her family and friends. Resisting because "it would be like giving her money" does come off as a bit petty.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: laceandbits on February 02, 2013, 01:04:44 PM
Not sure why everyone is talking about you moving as your question was how long after her 'moving out' can she still decide that things are hers. 

Surely at the point when they divorced it was agreed who had what as far as their joint property is concerned, so unless DH agreed to store the stuff for her, it is his now not theirs (as in their 'joint property').  If this is the case she can only have it if neither of you want it and are prepared to give it to her in the same way as you might to any pregnant friend.  She has no more right to it than any other 3rd party just because it was hers "when they were married".   Of course, if he was storing it she should now arrange for it ALL to be collected in one go.

I had experience of this when I moved in with my now DH, three years after he was divorced.  Even after I was here his ex was still using every chance she could to get into the house when his 19 yr old daughter was here (and we were out) to "collect things I forgot to take".  OK they were only stupid things like a bun tin, or a carving fork, but it was really frustrating to be searching for something and DD to say oh Mum took it as it was hers.  Fortunately I saw the funny side of it but DH was really mad about her disrespect and words were said.... 

But what if your DH's ex suddenly decided she wanted something else from your home other than baby things?  Would you even be in this dilemma.  Probably not because it would be easy to say no.

In this case, as the stuff from the previous marriage that she didn't take is now the property of DH, it is up to him to decide if he wants to make the effort to go into the attic to at least look at it and decide if it is feasible for you to pass it on to her next week when you see her.  If not, it is up to him to say to her why not. 

The other thing I don't quite agree with are the comments from people asking why you would want to use the same baby things she did.  What I really don't understand is why she would want to.  She is now not with DH or the child who used those things, why would she want to stir up all the unhappiness from that time in her life.

I agree with the others though that having a child in the house is not a reason or excuse for avoiding this.  You don't both need to go up there, so you look after DS and DH goes to look.  If there are things he wants to pass on, you and DS can make a game of receiving the stuff at the bottom of the ladder. 

Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sharnita on February 02, 2013, 01:13:13 PM
While she is not her child's primary guardian I did not get the idea she has cut ties or has bad memories of her child.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 02, 2013, 01:17:35 PM
If she asked for just items that were gifts that wouldn't be as much of an issue. It's just that the request was for a specific few items AND anything else we could find. I may not have as much of an immediate need for them but we were planning on starting to have children within the year. So some of the stuff would be used. Just not as soon as if we gave it to her. Also her pregnancy is in the very early stages right now. So we aren't withholding items that achild could be using in a month or so.

I think if she mentioned splitting it I wouldn't even be asking this question. It was just the assumption that we would give her everything and that my family would throw me a baby shower and replace all those items.

I think going up when its convenient for us to get the few requested items is fine and there isn't an immediate need for the items so she can wait. But I do see this as being a continuing thing after she gets those items. Like in a month she asks "could you also check for this and that". So I guess when we do go up we need to take an inventory and decide then what we are willing to split with her.

But my initial reaction was similar to what JenJay expressed. This feels like we were just being used as an unpaid storage center. This scenario is involving a lot of items that may have sentimental feelings behind them but I'm not sure why the mother wins out in the sentimental battle? I know DH has sentimental feelings associated with some items from his son's younger days. I'm wondering what the response would be if this was about an appliance that she had left behind and felt a need for later? Would we be petty for keeping it after 3 years?
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: mich3554 on February 02, 2013, 01:23:07 PM
Can I ask those of you advocating for giving the ex the items (or half of them) why? I'm genuinely curious.

Why not?  They do not belong to the OP, she has no need for them, the ex does have a need for them, they were given to the ex for the birth of her son.  They are taking up space in the OP's attic, which she has said that they are trying to clear out to sell the house.

I also suspect that if the OP has a child, she will want to choose her own supplies when/if the time arises.

Other than the hassle of retrieving the items from the attic, then why be petty about it?  There is presumably some sort of relationship between the ex and the OP's DH and there will continue to be as they have a child together.  Why make it more difficult than it has to be?
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: JenJay on February 02, 2013, 01:25:56 PM
If she asked for just items that were gifts that wouldn't be as much of an issue. It's just that the request was for a specific few items AND anything else we could find. I may not have as much of an immediate need for them but we were planning on starting to have children within the year. So some of the stuff would be used. Just not as soon as if we gave it to her. Also her pregnancy is in the very early stages right now. So we aren't withholding items that achild could be using in a month or so.

I think if she mentioned splitting it I wouldn't even be asking this question. It was just the assumption that we would give her everything and that my family would throw me a baby shower and replace all those items.

I think going up when its convenient for us to get the few requested items is fine and there isn't an immediate need for the items so she can wait. But I do see this as being a continuing thing after she gets those items. Like in a month she asks "could you also check for this and that". So I guess when we do go up we need to take an inventory and decide then what we are willing to split with her.

But my initial reaction was similar to what JenJay expressed. This feels like we were just being used as an unpaid storage center. This scenario is involving a lot of items that may have sentimental feelings behind them but I'm not sure why the mother wins out in the sentimental battle? I know DH has sentimental feelings associated with some items from his son's younger days. I'm wondering what the response would be if this was about an appliance that she had left behind and felt a need for later? Would we be petty for keeping it after 3 years?

I would tell her "It's too cold up there right now. We will go up this spring and see what we still have and get back to you. We did get rid of quite a bit as DS outgrew it, so I can't say for sure that the things you're asking for are still here, but we'll check."

This spring I'd move the baby stuff to its own area, separate what I wanted to keep from what I was willing to give her, and email her a list of what she could have and a couple of dates when it would be convenient for me for her to come pick it up. I wouldn't let her go up and take what she pleased and I wouldn't bring anything to her (unless that's easier for you than having here come to your home).
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: JenJay on February 02, 2013, 01:30:38 PM
Can I ask those of you advocating for giving the ex the items (or half of them) why? I'm genuinely curious.

Why not?  They do not belong to the OP, she has no need for them, the ex does have a need for them, they were given to the ex for the birth of her son.  They are taking up space in the OP's attic, which she has said that they are trying to clear out to sell the house.

I also suspect that if the OP has a child, she will want to choose her own supplies when/if the time arises.

Other than the hassle of retrieving the items from the attic, then why be petty about it?  There is presumably some sort of relationship between the ex and the OP's DH and there will continue to be as they have a child together.  Why make it more difficult than it has to be?

I think the bolded is where I'm seeing it differently. I think the items do belong to OP (and her husband) and she has said she will have need of them within a year or two. I agree that they should give the ex the things they are unlikely to reuse but personally I'd keep the rest.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 02, 2013, 02:02:34 PM
Can I ask those of you advocating for giving the ex the items (or half of them) why? I'm genuinely curious.

Why not?  They do not belong to the OP but they do belong to the OP's husband, she has no need for them right now, but hopefully will within a year or two, just like the ex has no need for them right now but rather in several months, the ex does have a need for them in the future, they were given to the ex and the OP's DH for the birth of her their son.  They are taking up space in the OP's attic which is equally the OP's DH's attic, which she has said that they are trying to clear out to sell the house.

I also suspect that if the OP has a child, she will want to choose her own supplies when/if the time arises. Does the father have no say?  These items are sentimental to him too, as they are his first child's items.

Other than the hassle of retrieving the items from the attic, then why be petty about it?  There is presumably some sort of relationship between the ex and the OP's DH and there will continue to be as they have a child together.  Why make it more difficult than it has to be?

It was easier to comment in red above...
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 02, 2013, 02:25:27 PM
I see this as something between the DH and the ex. I think the OP should stay out of it. I also think the ex seems like no prize but the OP is coming across as petty.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 02, 2013, 02:50:00 PM
I see this as something between the DH and the ex. I think the OP should stay out of it. I also think the ex seems like no prize but the OP is coming across as petty.

What's petty about not wanting to go up into the attic and grab a bunch of stuff and then deliver it within the week? What's petty about not liking to be told that her FOO could replace all of the baby items?

But we agree that this is between her husband and his ex-wife.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Girly on February 02, 2013, 02:57:52 PM
I think I would either just tell her no, or tell her when it warms up, and is more convenient for you, you'll go up in the attic and check and see if there is anything to give her.

When I say 'anything to give her', I mean if you see something in the collection that you don't want, put it aside, and the next time you see her, just hand it over.

To me, it's really not a big deal that she asked, though HOW she asked was pretty tacky.

I really wouldn't put much thought into it, and certainly wouldn't lose sleep over it. I think to hold items 'just because' - be it because you didn't like how she asked, or you don't think she deserves it - is rather petty, and just not an overall nice thing to do.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: yokozbornak on February 02, 2013, 03:20:34 PM
If I were in the OP's shoes, I would not like to be called and told to someone's bidding epecially in my own home.  To me, this comes across as more of a power play ("I still control things in the house you live in") and less about the actual things themselves.  If I were you, I would not play into it at all.  I would be frank (or better yet make my husband have the conversation) and say, "We are not sure of which baby items are actually left in the attic, and neither of us are willing to go up there in the dead of winter to look. We can't help you with this."

You can be nice without being a pushover. If you do what she asks even when the request is ridiculous, you are setting a bad precedent.  I think being firm and establishing boundaries is the best way to handle the relationship. The bonus is that you don't feel resentful and used.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Amara on February 02, 2013, 03:23:26 PM
Quote
Can I ask those of you advocating for giving the ex the items (or half of them) why? I'm genuinely curious.

I see it as a kind of win-win situation where the OP and her husband take the high road. Unless they--more he than she--wants them or some of them, I think it would show a lot of class to let the ex-wife have them. The practical effect is that they won't have to think about them, but I like to think of the gesture as gracious.

That said, having read about the attic--I have never had one--I agree then that telling the ex-wife you will do it when the weather warms up is best for everyone. Then do it. This situation has the potential of creating a lot of goodwill in a three-way relationship that will continue to exist because of the child.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 02, 2013, 03:32:57 PM
What's petty about not wanting to go up into the attic and grab a bunch of stuff and then deliver it within the week? What's petty about not liking to be told that her FOO could replace all of the baby items?

What comes across as petty to me is the general tone and comments about not wanting to help out the ex or give her things that would be like giving her money.  Unless I have missed something, the ex is still a part of her sons life and will continue to be in the stepsons (and the OP's) lives for many more years.  From what the OP has written, even she cannot fully articulate why she doesn't want to give the items to the ex aside from a vague "I don't like her, I didn't like how she asked, she's not even close to her son, we don't want to help her out."  I get that the OP doesn't like the ex.  The problem is that the OP is making her life and that of her stepsons far more difficult than it needs to be by harboring resentment toward the stepson's mother.

As Amava and others pointed out, the OP has an opportunity here to create good will and smooth over a situation she cannot change (the fact that the ex is the stepsons mother).  As I said before, I think the very fact that the OP seems to be making the decisions when it comes to relations with the ex is an etiquette faux pas. If I were the ex, I would be irritated by that and would think the OP is grossly overstepping.

I think the best way to handle this is for the DH to handle all relations with the ex and the OP to stay out of it.  The OP can silently seethe if she must but publicly be gracious to the ex and take the high road. The way I see it, everyone wins that way and drama is kept to a minimum.  Is the ex "entitled" to the things she demands?  Who knows. The happiest solution seems to be to give them to her unless the DH (note I said the DH) sees the need to keep them for some reason.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: MariaE on February 02, 2013, 03:35:55 PM
Quote
Can I ask those of you advocating for giving the ex the items (or half of them) why? I'm genuinely curious.

I see it as a kind of win-win situation where the OP and her husband take the high road. Unless they--more he than she--wants them or some of them, I think it would show a lot of class to let the ex-wife have them. The practical effect is that they won't have to think about them, but I like to think of the gesture as gracious.

That said, having read about the attic--I have never had one--I agree then that telling the ex-wife you will do it when the weather warms up is best for everyone. Then do it. This situation has the potential of creating a lot of goodwill in a three-way relationship that will continue to exist because of the child.

I agree with this completely.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sophia on February 02, 2013, 03:48:49 PM
... they were given to the ex for the birth of her son.  ...

I find that offensive.  The idea that gifts for a baby or child are really gifts to the mother.  Maybe some fathers don't participate in caring/raising their children even while in the same home.  But, the fact that he now has primary custody speaks volumes that this isn't the case. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 02, 2013, 03:50:53 PM
... they were given to the ex for the birth of her son.  ...

I find that offensive.  The idea that gifts for a baby or child are really gifts to the mother.  Maybe some fathers don't participate in caring/raising their children even while in the same home.  But, the fact that he now has primary custody speaks volumes that this isn't the case.

I didn't read it that way at all, but rather that the gifts were NOT given to the OP but instead to the DH and the ex.  This is exactly why I think the OP should completely stay out of it. Let her DH make the decisions when it comes to the ex and the stepson. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Hmmmmm on February 02, 2013, 05:11:39 PM
The comment about your DH not wanting to give her the items because he see it as giving her money was something I was curious about. Basically, your Ex believes that anything left in there marital home after the desolution of the marriage became his property. There is nothing wrong with this perception if there is nothing to contradict it. Therefore I thinkhe is in his right to tell her there aren't items in the home that he wants to send to her.  You really have no dog in this fight.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: citadelle on February 02, 2013, 05:44:08 PM
The best thing I ever did for my daughter, who is now 18, was do my best to accommodate and get along with her stepmom. It would be great if your husband's ex would take that approach with you. I hope you will consider doing so with her.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: LadyR on February 02, 2013, 05:58:47 PM
For the people telling the OP to stay out of it and let her husband handle it, I imagine she is posting for the both of them. Generally spouses work as a team, so I think those comments are unfair. The OP has also mentioned that it is her DH who is relunctnat to give the items.

I think the fact that the ex has demanded all the baby items back, after several years, and her attitude that the OP's family can just be expected to buy her all new items would grate on me. OP has stated that if the ex had approached her reasonably about asking for some of the items, they'd have been more willing to work something else, but she demanded all of them. I also think the argument that the ex has sentimental rightto them is ridiculous, because the OP's DH has equal right and they have been in his possession all this time.

I don't think the OP and her husband should be obligated to go out of their way to get the items and deliver them to the ex, either. Tough I'd advise sitting down with her and going "when we have time we can look for [specific item], but we are not comfortable giving you all the baby items as we would like to keep some for when we have children."
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Erich L-ster on February 02, 2013, 06:15:17 PM
I think that if she will pay for shipping or pick up the items herself, that you or husband should dig them out of the attic for her to get them.

I wouldn't say you're obligated to drive them to her or pay for shipping.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: blarg314 on February 02, 2013, 06:23:50 PM

My understanding of what she wants you to do

- The two of you go up into your mid-winter freezing cold attic and spend hours rooting through it looking for baby gear of any sort.

- Find babysitting during this, because it takes two people to root through the attic.

- Haul the stuff down, clean it off, pack it in your car and drive several hundred miles to her place to give it to her.  Drive back.

- The items are stuff that you will be using in the next few years, but she want them because she expects your family to buy you all new stuff when you have kids yourself.

- She has not volunteered to pick up the items, pay shipping, or at any point offered to store the stuff herself.

I think what I would do is offer to bring one or two items when you go there, but that you won't be rooting through the attic until it's much warmer in there. But not every single baby item you've got, and not immediately.

Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Magnet on February 02, 2013, 06:52:46 PM
"I told my DH to just say that most of the stuff is gone because we have been trying to clear out the house to sell. Is it rude to lie like this?"

Yes, it is rude to lie, and it is morally not cool. 

Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 02, 2013, 08:10:15 PM
For the people telling the OP to stay out of it and let her husband handle it, I imagine she is posting for the both of them. Generally spouses work as a team, so I think those comments are unfair. The OP has also mentioned that it is her DH who is relunctnat to give the items.

I think the fact that the ex has demanded all the baby items back, after several years, and her attitude that the OP's family can just be expected to buy her all new items would grate on me. OP has stated that if the ex had approached her reasonably about asking for some of the items, they'd have been more willing to work something else, but she demanded all of them. I also think the argument that the ex has sentimental rightto them is ridiculous, because the OP's DH has equal right and they have been in his possession all this time.

I don't think the OP and her husband should be obligated to go out of their way to get the items and deliver them to the ex, either. Tough I'd advise sitting down with her and going "when we have time we can look for [specific item], but we are not comfortable giving you all the baby items as we would like to keep some for when we have children."

This except for explaining to Ex why you'll be keeping things.  She doesn't need to know.

I, personally, would not be giving her a thing, not after 3 years and not after the way she handled it.  It is completely SS to say, "Give me what you have because your family can just buy you stuff later!".  If it was that important to Ex, she wouldn't have left it for 3 years.  I also don't see giving stuff to Ex as smoothing things over, I see it as starting the pattern that she can demand what she wants and get it.  Boundaries need to be set; why not start now?
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Scuba_Dog on February 02, 2013, 08:14:56 PM
For the sake of current and future peace in the relationship, I'd get the things out and send them off to her.

Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 02, 2013, 08:17:28 PM
For the sake of current and future peace in the relationship, I'd get the things out and send them off to her.

Where does it end, though?  This route just seems like the beginning of Ex constantly demanding things that she left in the house 3 years ago and getting them or throwing a hissy fit because she doesn't.  "Here, Ex, let me bend over backwards for you just to smooth things over even though you're a demanding, special snowflake of a person!"  I don't think giving in to her demands is a good idea at all.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Scuba_Dog on February 02, 2013, 08:32:59 PM
For the sake of current and future peace in the relationship, I'd get the things out and send them off to her.

Where does it end, though?  This route just seems like the beginning of Ex constantly demanding things that she left in the house 3 years ago and getting them or throwing a hissy fit because she doesn't.  "Here, Ex, let me bend over backwards for you just to smooth things over even though you're a demanding, special snowflake of a person!"  I don't think giving in to her demands is a good idea at all.

I think if you are willing do to some things it's easier for all to understand when you won't do other things - if that makes any sense.  These relationships can be so difficult that I find it's best to try and give as much as you can.  That way, when you are unable to comply to a request, there is no suspicion that it's for any other reason than what you give.

Hindsight really is 20/20, which is why when I see a situation like this, my advice usually leans toward doing whatever is necessary to keep peace and harmony between everyone.  It just makes things so much nicer and so much easier on the kids.

I can look back at my relationship with my husbands ex and see plenty of oppurtunities where I could have made decisions that would have made the relationships between all of us more pleasant. For the most part, things were ok, but they could have been better.  Looking back, I can see that I could have done more to make the situation a happier one for the kids involved.

Just my opinion from my own life experience.   



Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 02, 2013, 08:35:01 PM
For the sake of current and future peace in the relationship, I'd get the things out and send them off to her.

Where does it end, though?  This route just seems like the beginning of Ex constantly demanding things that she left in the house 3 years ago and getting them or throwing a hissy fit because she doesn't.  "Here, Ex, let me bend over backwards for you just to smooth things over even though you're a demanding, special snowflake of a person!"  I don't think giving in to her demands is a good idea at all.

I think if you are willing do to some things it's easier for all to understand when you won't do other things - if that makes any sense.  These relationships can be so difficult that I find it's best to try and give as much as you can.  That way, when you are unable to comply to a request, there is no suspicion that it's for any other reason than what you give.

Hindsight really is 20/20, which is why when I see a situation like this, my advice usually leans toward doing whatever is necessary to keep peace and harmony between everyone.  It just makes things so much nicer and so much easier on the kids.

I can look back at my relationship with my husbands ex and see plenty of oppurtunities where I could have made decisions that would have made the relationships between all of us more pleasant. For the most part, things were ok, but they could have been better.  Looking back, I can see that I could have done more to make the situation a happier one for the kids involved.

Just my opinion from my own life experience.

It does actually make sense, and now that you said that, I need more information from the OP.  I was under the assumption that the Ex was kind of like this about a lot of things, otherwise the OP would be more willing to work with her.  That, however, was a completely baseless assumption.

OP, is Ex usually like this?  Is she usually not very involved or is she generally an OK person to be around? 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: citadelle on February 02, 2013, 08:38:16 PM

I think if you are willing do to some things it's easier for all to understand when you won't do other things - if that makes any sense.  These relationships can be so difficult that I find it's best to try and give as much as you can.  That way, when you are unable to comply to a request, there is no suspicion that it's for any other reason than what you give.

I agree, Scubadog. If you can make concessions that are reasonable, the times when you cannot have more impact. This is true in my experience, as well. When there is a child involved, it has to be about what furthers a cooperative atmosphere for the child. It isn't bout being a doormat, but about finding common ground.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sharnita on February 02, 2013, 08:45:07 PM
I can also see this bridging the gap between siblings.  For the older child "this is the __________ you used to play with.  We found it for your little brother/sister because while your mom and dad divorced we think siblings are special and we are happy that you will have one".  Especially because they will not be living close together most of the time, making sure the older shild knoows you support that new relationship could ne reassuring.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: miranova on February 02, 2013, 10:01:51 PM
If OP's impression of the ex is accurate, then the ex is not the most pleasant person in the world.  Making demands and ordering the OP around isn't kind.

However, the ex is not the one posting here.  OP is, so my advise goes to her. 

I really am not sure you see how incredibly petty the "it's like giving her money" statement is.  I do understand that legally the items may completely belong to your Dh.  However, legality and etiquette/morality are not always the same thing.  I am divorced and pretty much think my ex is one of the worst human beings I have ever known.  But still, I have come across things that are important to him over the last 5 years without question I give them back.  Not because I want to make him smile, not because he "deserves" it, but because I don't want to be a vindictive person.   I have to live with myself and my own standards for behavior. 

Your Dh and the ex are the parents of this child, and in my opinion BOTH of them (equally) should be able to have some of these items.  It's unfortunate that this wasn't done at the time of the divorce but it's not the same as a dining room table or a patio set.  It's just not.  They are items for their child together.  I believe the right thing to do would be to allow her to have some of them.  I do think that since you've stored them for so long, that YOU get to choose the time frame and also that you do have a bit more right to choose the things that are important to you first and give her the remainder. 

But to just give her nothing?  All because it has monetary value?  (and no matter what other valid reasons others are posting, those aren't the reasons the OP's Dh wants to say no...he wants to say no because he doesn't want her receiving anything of value).  I think this is very short sighted.  This is a woman you both need to get along with for a long time.  I think her request is reasonable, but agree the delivery was rude and waiting so long was rude.  But the request itself is completely reasonable and this is not worth a fight.  Save your "no" for something much more important, like her wanting to send the child somewhere dangerous or something.  This is just not a battle worth fighting.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 02, 2013, 10:18:24 PM

It does actually make sense, and now that you said that, I need more information from the OP.  I was under the assumption that the Ex was kind of like this about a lot of things, otherwise the OP would be more willing to work with her.  That, however, was a completely baseless assumption.

OP, is Ex usually like this?  Is she usually not very involved or is she generally an OK person to be around?

Answering the question of what the Ex is usually like... We do all get along. There isn't any major drama going on. But when she makes any kind of request and it isn't filled to her specifications she typically does get angry fast. In the case of her wanting the clothes I had bought to give to her nephew she went from pleasant to shouting about how we didn't need them and could replace them when we had a kid. Also her involvement is fairly limited in my opinion. She does take her son for a week every couple months. But the time inbetween we don't hear from her a lot. If my stepson asks to call her(and it's not an unreasonable hour) we do. But other than that calls that she initiates are about once every other week and usually have a time limit on them. Like she'll call 10 minutes before his bedtime, right as she is walking into work etc...

I think this and the fact that she doesn't financially support him is what caused my initial response of "give her nothing".

And Lady R explains my intent is posting this pretty well. I am asking for advice to give back DH to use on her. He will handle all interactions on this subject and he does handle all other interactions with her. He also had the reaction of not giving her anything. Which I think is also mostly based in the fact that we are pretty much 100% financially supporting their because she claims she is too broke to contribute(she has maybe given him 3 items of clothing in the past year that is it). It's kind of a "why should we help you when you do nothing to help us" and now she is going to be supporting another kid while not supporting her first. I understand that may be petty but it is the emotion around this situation and after reading all the comments I do realize that we shouldn't act on the emotion but try to be a bit more rational about it.

The plan right now is to take an inventory of what is in the attic and give her the few items she asked for(if they are there), split the rest as we see fit and give it to her when it's convenient for us and communicate to her that is all that she will be getting. Otherwise I can see these requests not only continuing but escalating because there have been instances in the past where this has happened. We do meet her for the pickup/dropoff of their son so we would be taking the items on a trip intended for that purpose, not making a special trip just to bring anything to her.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 02, 2013, 10:21:56 PM
If OP's impression of the ex is accurate, then the ex is not the most pleasant person in the world.  Making demands and ordering the OP around isn't kind.

However, the ex is not the one posting here.  OP is, so my advise goes to her. 

I really am not sure you see how incredibly petty the "it's like giving her money" statement is.  I do understand that legally the items may completely belong to your Dh.  However, legality and etiquette/morality are not always the same thing.  I am divorced and pretty much think my ex is one of the worst human beings I have ever known.  But still, I have come across things that are important to him over the last 5 years without question I give them back.  Not because I want to make him smile, not because he "deserves" it, but because I don't want to be a vindictive person.   I have to live with myself and my own standards for behavior. 

Your Dh and the ex are the parents of this child, and in my opinion BOTH of them (equally) should be able to have some of these items.  It's unfortunate that this wasn't done at the time of the divorce but it's not the same as a dining room table or a patio set.  It's just not.  They are items for their child together.  I believe the right thing to do would be to allow her to have some of them.  I do think that since you've stored them for so long, that YOU get to choose the time frame and also that you do have a bit more right to choose the things that are important to you first and give her the remainder. 

But to just give her nothing?  All because it has monetary value?  (and no matter what other valid reasons others are posting, those aren't the reasons the OP's Dh wants to say no...he wants to say no because he doesn't want her receiving anything of value). I think this is very short sighted.  This is a woman you both need to get along with for a long time.  I think her request is reasonable, but agree the delivery was rude and waiting so long was rude.  But the request itself is completely reasonable and this is not worth a fight.  Save your "no" for something much more important, like her wanting to send the child somewhere dangerous or something.  This is just not a battle worth fighting.

I thought I had clarified this but if not... He did intend on reusing these items for future children. So he feels like he is giving her money because we would have to replace these items he was planning on using.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 02, 2013, 11:51:55 PM
I am guessing that the variance in replies has to do with those of us who have experienced blended families and those of us who have not (or who are new to it).  I strongly encourage the OP to listen to those of us who have learned either through horrible experiences or just life that letting go of petty "but I'm right" attitudes is better for everyone, and especially the children.  The person who would be using the items is your stepson's sibling.  Yes, you are "entitled" to your feelings of "the ex is so rude and she deserves nothing."  But reality will show you that this is a short sighted approach.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 03, 2013, 12:07:18 AM
I am guessing that the variance in replies has to do with those of us who have experienced blended families and those of us who have not (or who are new to it).  I strongly encourage the OP to listen to those of us who have learned either through horrible experiences or just life that letting go of petty "but I'm right" attitudes is better for everyone, and especially the children.  The person who would be using the items is your stepson's sibling.  Yes, you are "entitled" to your feelings of "the ex is so rude and she deserves nothing."  But reality will show you that this is a short sighted approach.

I'm not sure what in my recent replies caused this response? I did say we felt a certain way about this but I also said that we will be giving her some of the items as she requested.  So in my opinion we did give up the "but I'm right" attitude the second we decided to give her these items and her half. These emotions are not being communicated with her. The items will just be divided similarly to the how their other joint property was divided at the time of the separation.

 Also regardless of who gets the items these items would be used for my stepsons sibling. Its just that one of the siblings is arriving sooner than the other.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 03, 2013, 12:22:58 AM
I am guessing that the variance in replies has to do with those of us who have experienced blended families and those of us who have not (or who are new to it).  I strongly encourage the OP to listen to those of us who have learned either through horrible experiences or just life that letting go of petty "but I'm right" attitudes is better for everyone, and especially the children.  The person who would be using the items is your stepson's sibling.  Yes, you are "entitled" to your feelings of "the ex is so rude and she deserves nothing."  But reality will show you that this is a short sighted approach.

I'm not sure what in my recent replies caused this response? I did say we felt a certain way about this but I also said that we will be giving her some of the items as she requested.  So in my opinion we did give up the "but I'm right" attitude the second we decided to give her these items and her half. These emotions are not being communicated with her. The items will just be divided similarly to the how their other joint property was divided at the time of the separation.

 Also regardless of who gets the items these items would be used for my stepsons sibling. Its just that one of the siblings is arriving sooner than the other.

OP, I completely understand and I applaud your solution. I was speaking more to the posters who were taking more "the ex is wrong and you should let her know that" approach.  You would be "justified" in doing what these posters suggest, but in real life, with children involved, it is not the best approach I have found.  Getting along with the natural parents of children you love is best for everyone, especially the children.  And the parents, because peace is always better than adversity.  The ex is not going to go away.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 03, 2013, 12:34:51 AM
I am guessing that the variance in replies has to do with those of us who have experienced blended families and those of us who have not (or who are new to it).  I strongly encourage the OP to listen to those of us who have learned either through horrible experiences or just life that letting go of petty "but I'm right" attitudes is better for everyone, and especially the children.  The person who would be using the items is your stepson's sibling.  Yes, you are "entitled" to your feelings of "the ex is so rude and she deserves nothing."  But reality will show you that this is a short sighted approach.

I'm not sure what in my recent replies caused this response? I did say we felt a certain way about this but I also said that we will be giving her some of the items as she requested.  So in my opinion we did give up the "but I'm right" attitude the second we decided to give her these items and her half. These emotions are not being communicated with her. The items will just be divided similarly to the how their other joint property was divided at the time of the separation.

 Also regardless of who gets the items these items would be used for my stepsons sibling. Its just that one of the siblings is arriving sooner than the other.

OP, I completely understand and I applaud your solution. I was speaking more to the posters who were taking more "the ex is wrong and you should let her know that" approach.  You would be "justified" in doing what these posters suggest, but in real life, with children involved, it is not the best approach I have found.  Getting along with the natural parents of children you love is best for everyone, especially the children.  And the parents, because peace is always better than adversity.  The ex is not going to go away.

Thanks. From your post I really couldn't tell if it was directed at me or not. Before getting into this blended family situation myself I know I would have been in the "give her nothing" camp. But we are also trying to figure out the balance between becoming a doormat and keeping the peace. By becoming involved with my DH I was thrown into becoming a mother figure from the moment I moved in(he had primary custody before) and then also got the added challenge of trying to figure out how to manage the relationship with his ex.  And honestly I feel the relationship with the ex is a lot harder then figuring out how to parent.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: cicero on February 03, 2013, 03:43:00 AM

It does actually make sense, and now that you said that, I need more information from the OP.  I was under the assumption that the Ex was kind of like this about a lot of things, otherwise the OP would be more willing to work with her.  That, however, was a completely baseless assumption.

OP, is Ex usually like this?  Is she usually not very involved or is she generally an OK person to be around?

Answering the question of what the Ex is usually like... We do all get along. There isn't any major drama going on. But when she makes any kind of request and it isn't filled to her specifications she typically does get angry fast. In the case of her wanting the clothes I had bought to give to her nephew she went from pleasant to shouting about how we didn't need them and could replace them when we had a kid. Also her involvement is fairly limited in my opinion. She does take her son for a week every couple months. But the time inbetween we don't hear from her a lot. If my stepson asks to call her(and it's not an unreasonable hour) we do. But other than that calls that she initiates are about once every other week and usually have a time limit on them. Like she'll call 10 minutes before his bedtime, right as she is walking into work etc...

I think this and the fact that she doesn't financially support him is what caused my initial response of "give her nothing".

And Lady R explains my intent is posting this pretty well. I am asking for advice to give back DH to use on her. He will handle all interactions on this subject and he does handle all other interactions with her. He also had the reaction of not giving her anything. Which I think is also mostly based in the fact that we are pretty much 100% financially supporting their because she claims she is too broke to contribute(she has maybe given him 3 items of clothing in the past year that is it). It's kind of a "why should we help you when you do nothing to help us" and now she is going to be supporting another kid while not supporting her first. I understand that may be petty but it is the emotion around this situation and after reading all the comments I do realize that we shouldn't act on the emotion but try to be a bit more rational about it.

The plan right now is to take an inventory of what is in the attic and give her the few items she asked for(if they are there), split the rest as we see fit and give it to her when it's convenient for us and communicate to her that is all that she will be getting. Otherwise I can see these requests not only continuing but escalating because there have been instances in the past where this has happened. We do meet her for the pickup/dropoff of their son so we would be taking the items on a trip intended for that purpose, not making a special trip just to bring anything to her.
i responded way up thread - i actually do not think you are being petty at all.

*you* are the one/s who is/are raising the child, and while i don't know how you are working out the finances, if the mother is paying zero CS, visiting him occassionally, calling him when it is inconvenient, and sporadically buying him things here and there, or in general "doing whatever is convenient for her and not in the child's best interest" then you (as in "you and your dh") are responsible for this child - physically, emotionally, financially.

it is heartbreaking to me that she suddenly remembers that the child exists when *she*needs something.

these things belong to both of them - they aren't "hers". if anything - they are the child's. and the fact that she is not supporting her child would make me not give her a thing.

maybe my own situation is coloring my view (DS's father having zero to do with him), but I wouldn't give her anything and i don't think it's being petty.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Danika on February 03, 2013, 05:00:11 AM
One element is what cicero just mentioned. The mother doesn't seem that involved in DS's life. And then suddenly, she remembers the *stuff* (not her existing child, but his stuff) and wants it so she can save money.

I think another element is that it's such a pain and an inconvenience for you to get this stuff. My DH's mother died years ago. His father left all of his (father's) and his late wife's stuff and let DH have to sort through all of it himself. FIL just left and DH had to go through it, throw out what he didn't want, sort through what he did want, put it in containers, move it from apartment to apartment. DH was in college when his mom passed, so DH didn't have extra rooms in houses to store stuff. He kept a few containers of things like his mom's jewelry and some papers of family photos and genealogy.

Ten years later, numerous houses and apartments later, FIL said to DH "I need my old clothes." FIL had had some inexpensive, cheap quality, out of fashion, and by now far too small for him pants and shirts that he had expected DH to keep all these years. Even after DH told FIL many times "I have to throw your stuff out because I don't have room to keep it." When FIL finally said he wanted it back, DH told him for the umpteenth time that most of it had been donated because DH didn't have room to store it. FIL hit the roof. DH did some tabulation and showed his father that had he paid $150/month for a storage unit, it would have cost over $15,000 to store all these things. He asked his father if his 1980s and 1990s polyester clothing was really worth $15,000. Then, FIL said "Fine. Whatever you still have, box it up and ship it to me." So DH was still expected to crawl around the crawl space of his house and find the few sentimental items he'd kept so that he could send them to FIL. And pay shipping himself. One of the things that FIL had told him he wanted - same as your DH's ex, he didn't ask, he demanded - was his late wife's jewelry. So that he could give it to his new wife.

I remember saying to DH "If I married a man, I don't think I'd want to wear his late wife's jewelry!" It was all costume jewelry, so not worth any money if you resold it. We didn't have kids yet, but I told DH that our hypothetical future kids were going to have nothing of their late grandmother's. I told DH not to send all the jewelry. I said to pick out the things that he remembered his mother by, and send the rest if he wanted, but to keep some for himself and/or our future kids.

I was working 60-80 hours a week and in grad school. I didn't have time to help DH root around our crawl space, you couldn't even crawl on all fours, you had to commando crawl because there was so little room, to drag out any boxes. And DH didn't want to spend hundreds in shipping to send any boxes to his father several states away. DH finally offered to pay for a UHaul trailer and let his father come help him crawl in the crawl space to get what he wanted. FIL took him up on it, and ended up also packing and taking back some of my stuff that was in the crawl space, without my knowledge or permission (it was camping gear, so replaceable, but still expensive).

If you're feeling charitable, you can tell your DH's ex that she's welcome to come root around your attic and look for what she wants, if she wants it now. Or else, you'll get to it when you get to it. I think if you bend over backwards to accommodate her this time, it'll set the precedent that she can keep demanding things and treating you this way in the future.

If you do let her come crawl around your attic, hide things that are yours (not necessarily baby items, like camping gear) that you don't want her to take. And also set aside and keep (hide elsewhere) the baby things that you want to save for your own future children that you don't want her taking.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: sidi-ji on February 03, 2013, 05:26:11 AM
Agree with Toots.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 03, 2013, 10:26:54 AM
She doesn't pay child support, she's wanting you and your husband to give her things that will cost you to replace them and she's wanting you to spend a long time, as well as the cost of gas, to bring them to her.

I'd stop the gravy-train right now, and refuse.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Shoo on February 03, 2013, 11:01:17 AM
Just to clarify a few things.

We are fairly sure there are no baby clothes in the attic(think she gave them away years ago). If she wanted those I wouldn't mind. I don't really want to be dressing any future children in clothes she picked out for her son. However she didn't really ask for clothes. She asked for us to pretty much go find any baby related item and bring it to her within a week. Also regarding expired items I'm pretty sure she gave the carseats away. We tossed the crib soon as stepson grew out of it.

 I know I had some weak excuses around going into the attic. However it is a 2 person job to get anything out of there and it's winter and freezing up there. We just really don't want to go in there and weren't planning on it anytime in the near future. Having the extra storage up there isn't really an issue either as it's no where near full. DH also really doesn't want to give her these because in his mind it's like giving her money and he did want to reuse some of these items.

Also we would have to pack any of these items up and take them with us when we were picking up/dropping off their son. Plus the phrasing of it wasn't "Could you please look for these items when you get a chance". It was more "I want you to check the attic within the next week for these items."

Your husband should just tell her no. I'd say "I don't have anything to give you. There are only a couple of Son'sName's things in the attic and I'm planning to use them. Everything else was tossed or donated a long time ago." Actually, he should leave it at "I don't have anything to give you." The rest of it is none of her business.  ;)

Yes, this is what your husband should say.  Simple and straightforward.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 03, 2013, 03:32:13 PM
She doesn't pay child support, she's wanting you and your husband to give her things that will cost you to replace them and she's wanting you to spend a long time, as well as the cost of gas, to bring them to her.

I'd stop the gravy-train right now, and refuse.

Ditto.  I stand by my earlier advice, too.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Danika on February 03, 2013, 04:12:04 PM
She doesn't pay child support, she's wanting you and your husband to give her things that will cost you to replace them and she's wanting you to spend a long time, as well as the cost of gas, to bring them to her.

I'd stop the gravy-train right now, and refuse.

I agree.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Poppea on February 03, 2013, 04:32:06 PM
If she had the nerve to ask you to give her clothing that you purchased for your stepson, in order to give it to HER nephew, she will continue to ask/demand anything.


If you reverse the situation:  A divorced and remarried woman is told by her deadbeat dad of an ex husband that she needs to pony up the baby swing, highchair, etc that was used by his son when he was a baby because his new partner is having a baby I think you'd be getting a unanimous "NO!".  I think that the negative posters are assuming sentimentality and attachment towards the baby stuff.  But she doesn't seem to have that much attachment to the actual child. 

If you decide to give her anything, get it from the attic and put it in the garage.  You are not a delivery service and if she wants the stuff that badly she can come and get it. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Poppea on February 03, 2013, 04:33:37 PM
If she had the nerve to demand that you give her clothing that you purchased for your stepson, in order to give it to HER nephew, she will continue to ask/demand anything.


If you reverse the situation:  A divorced and remarried woman is told by her deadbeat dad of an ex husband that she needs to pony up the baby swing, highchair, etc that was used by his son when he was a baby because his new partner is having a baby I think you'd be getting a unanimous "NO!".  I think that the negative posters are assuming sentimentality and attachment towards the baby stuff.  But she doesn't seem to have that much attachment to the actual child. 

If you decide to give her anything, get it from the attic and put it in the garage.  You are not a delivery service and if she wants the stuff that badly she can come and get it.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: CharlieBraun on February 03, 2013, 04:40:31 PM
If she had the nerve to ask you to give her clothing that you purchased for your stepson, in order to give it to HER nephew, she will continue to ask/demand anything.


If you reverse the situation:  A divorced and remarried woman is told by her deadbeat dad of an ex husband that she needs to pony up the baby swing, highchair, etc that was used by his son when he was a baby because his new partner is having a baby I think you'd be getting a unanimous "NO!".  I think that the negative posters are assuming sentimentality and attachment towards the baby stuff.  But she doesn't seem to have that much attachment to the actual child. 

If you decide to give her anything, get it from the attic and put it in the garage.  You are not a delivery service and if she wants the stuff that badly she can come and get it.

I bolded the sentence that I found most accurate and most heartrending of all.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 03, 2013, 05:44:25 PM
My advice to have the DH handle it and to just give her the stuff (or whatever DH doesn't want) has nothing to do with thinking the ex is reasonable, attached to the items, or entitled to them in any way. It has everything to do with making a relationship that cannot be severed because of the child as smooth as possible. I think the OP's involvement as opposed to the DH handling it would be a poor choice and I think choosing peace is best here.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 03, 2013, 06:06:20 PM
My advice to have the DH handle it and to just give her the stuff (or whatever DH doesn't want) has nothing to do with thinking the ex is reasonable, attached to the items, or entitled to them in any way. It has everything to do with making a relationship that cannot be severed because of the child as smooth as possible. I think the OP's involvement as opposed to the DH handling it would be a poor choice and I think choosing peace is best here.

This has given me a bit of insight.  You are suggesting peace now and hoping it will mean peace in the future.  I am suggesting to not give in now because I don't think peace now will mean peace later; I think peace now means more demands later, things that will be harder to give to keep the peace, which will result in the OP and her DH being doormats.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 03, 2013, 06:26:12 PM
I am not suggesting being a doormat. I am suggesting choosing your battles and giving in when you don't "have" to to make a difficult relationship less dramatic.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Mental Magpie on February 03, 2013, 06:29:50 PM
I am not suggesting being a doormat. I am suggesting choosing your battles and giving in when you don't "have" to to make a difficult relationship less dramatic.

I don't see where I said you were suggesting to be a doormat?  I said that's what I see happening if the OP and her DH were to give in to keep the peace now.  You obviously don't see it that way as you think (from what I'm gathering from your posts) that keeping the peace now will also help to keep the peace in the future (ie the ex won't keep demanding things).
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: JenJay on February 03, 2013, 06:46:25 PM
My advice to have the DH handle it and to just give her the stuff (or whatever DH doesn't want) has nothing to do with thinking the ex is reasonable, attached to the items, or entitled to them in any way. It has everything to do with making a relationship that cannot be severed because of the child as smooth as possible. I think the OP's involvement as opposed to the DH handling it would be a poor choice and I think choosing peace is best here.

This has given me a bit of insight.  You are suggesting peace now and hoping it will mean peace in the future.  I am suggesting to not give in now because I don't think peace now will mean peace later; I think peace now means more demands later, things that will be harder to give to keep the peace, which will result in the OP and her DH being doormats.

I agree. It sounds like OP and her DH already do what they can to facilitate a good relationship with the ex for the child's sake. I don't think handing over whatever household items she decides to demand is a good idea.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 03, 2013, 06:47:28 PM
If she had the nerve to ask you to give her clothing that you purchased for your stepson, in order to give it to HER nephew, she will continue to ask/demand anything.


If you reverse the situation:  A divorced and remarried woman is told by her deadbeat dad of an ex husband that she needs to pony up the baby swing, highchair, etc that was used by his son when he was a baby because his new partner is having a baby I think you'd be getting a unanimous "NO!".  I think that the negative posters are assuming sentimentality and attachment towards the baby stuff.  But she doesn't seem to have that much attachment to the actual child. 

If you decide to give her anything, get it from the attic and put it in the garage.  You are not a delivery service and if she wants the stuff that badly she can come and get it.

I bolded the sentence that I found most accurate and most heartrending of all.

In her defense I know she does love her child very much. She does want to spend time with him and has said the lack of phone calls is because it makes her miss him more. I personally just don't have much sympathy for her. She does want everything to be convenient for her. Things like lack of calls may be tough for her but it is also damaging their relationship in the long run. My view is it's hard for me to raise another person's kid but I do it because I love him and it's not his fault he was put in this situation. She just doesn't see that yet. I'm not sure if this new child will help her make that realization or not.

*fixed a sentence
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 03, 2013, 06:51:01 PM
I don't think the OP can control the ex's behavior. I don't think giving in now will make the ex reasonable in the future. I think giving up on thinking poorly of the ex or not wanting to help the mother of the stepson would allow the OP to live a less dramatic life. For me, I would prefer to know I'm "right" but take the high road and let it go and let it be no big deal. I would choose controlling what I can, which is my behavior. I would be cheerful and gracious while knowing I don't have to be, because it is the best thing to do for family harmony for the stepson.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: LeveeWoman on February 03, 2013, 06:58:15 PM
If she had the nerve to ask you to give her clothing that you purchased for your stepson, in order to give it to HER nephew, she will continue to ask/demand anything.


If you reverse the situation:  A divorced and remarried woman is told by her deadbeat dad of an ex husband that she needs to pony up the baby swing, highchair, etc that was used by his son when he was a baby because his new partner is having a baby I think you'd be getting a unanimous "NO!".  I think that the negative posters are assuming sentimentality and attachment towards the baby stuff.  But she doesn't seem to have that much attachment to the actual child. 

If you decide to give her anything, get it from the attic and put it in the garage.  You are not a delivery service and if she wants the stuff that badly she can come and get it.

I bolded the sentence that I found most accurate and most heartrending of all.

In her defense I know she does love her child very much. She does want to spend time with him and has said the lack of phone calls is due is because it makes her miss him more. I personally just don't have much sympathy for her. She does want everything to be convenient for her. Things like lack of calls may be tough for her but it is also damaging their relationship in the long run. My view is it's hard for me to raise another person's kid but I do it because I love him and it's not his fault he was put in this situation. She just doesn't see that yet. I'm not sure if this new child will help her make that realization or not.

Wow. She seems to be great at looking out for herself.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 03, 2013, 07:03:30 PM
My advice to have the DH handle it and to just give her the stuff (or whatever DH doesn't want) has nothing to do with thinking the ex is reasonable, attached to the items, or entitled to them in any way. It has everything to do with making a relationship that cannot be severed because of the child as smooth as possible. I think the OP's involvement as opposed to the DH handling it would be a poor choice and I think choosing peace is best here.

This has given me a bit of insight.  You are suggesting peace now and hoping it will mean peace in the future.  I am suggesting to not give in now because I don't think peace now will mean peace later; I think peace now means more demands later, things that will be harder to give to keep the peace, which will result in the OP and her DH being doormats.

I agree. It sounds like OP and her DH already do what they can to facilitate a good relationship with the ex for the child's sake. I don't think handing over whatever household items she decides to demand is a good idea.

In this case I can see how the ex may have a claim to these items(in my opinion a very tiny claim). And she asked 3 specific items and 2 of them she mentioned were gifts from her mother. So I do think to keep the relationship good in this case we have to at the very minimum give her the gift items to not start a war.

There have been no's to requests in the past where she has demanded things that weren't hers to claim(requests to come stay at the house, requesting pickup/dropoff times she knew would not work for us). This situation does suck though because it does make us feel that all that we do will never be enough for her.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: JenJay on February 03, 2013, 07:19:09 PM
My advice to have the DH handle it and to just give her the stuff (or whatever DH doesn't want) has nothing to do with thinking the ex is reasonable, attached to the items, or entitled to them in any way. It has everything to do with making a relationship that cannot be severed because of the child as smooth as possible. I think the OP's involvement as opposed to the DH handling it would be a poor choice and I think choosing peace is best here.

This has given me a bit of insight.  You are suggesting peace now and hoping it will mean peace in the future.  I am suggesting to not give in now because I don't think peace now will mean peace later; I think peace now means more demands later, things that will be harder to give to keep the peace, which will result in the OP and her DH being doormats.

I agree. It sounds like OP and her DH already do what they can to facilitate a good relationship with the ex for the child's sake. I don't think handing over whatever household items she decides to demand is a good idea.

In this case I can see how the ex may have a claim to these items(in my opinion a very tiny claim). And she asked 3 specific items and 2 of them she mentioned were gifts from her mother. So I do think to keep the relationship good in this case we have to at the very minimum give her the gift items to not start a war.

There have been no's to requests in the past where she has demanded things that weren't hers to claim(requests to come stay at the house, requesting pickup/dropoff times she knew would not work for us). This situation does suck though because it does make us feel that all that we do will never be enough for her.

And you're probably right, whatever you do likely won't ever be enough for her. The thing is, you can see to it that there is a balance so that you feel you are doing something but not being taken advantage of. I think giving her the couple of things you are comfortable with is a good compromise. Try not to think of it as "We have to give her what she wants to avoid a war." but rather "We do most of the giving in this give-and-take but DSS is worth it." And DO continue to set boundaries because it won't do your relationship any good to start feeling resentful, either.  :-\

I can tell you this - I grew up in a situation very much like your DS's and I am eternally grateful to my parents (Dad and Step-Mom) that they were careful to allow me to have whatever kind of relationship with my Mom that I could. Sometimes it ended up being none but I always knew that her due to her choices and not theirs. After I was an adult my step-mom confessed to me that at times it had been extremely difficult to be cordial to my mom but she was glad she and my dad had been determined because my brother and I were worth it. That said, my mom never tried to come back and stake any claim on household goods. I don't imagine that would have gone over well at all. Kudos to you and your DH for trying!!
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: miranova on February 03, 2013, 08:12:53 PM
My advice to have the DH handle it and to just give her the stuff (or whatever DH doesn't want) has nothing to do with thinking the ex is reasonable, attached to the items, or entitled to them in any way. It has everything to do with making a relationship that cannot be severed because of the child as smooth as possible. I think the OP's involvement as opposed to the DH handling it would be a poor choice and I think choosing peace is best here.

This has given me a bit of insight.  You are suggesting peace now and hoping it will mean peace in the future.  I am suggesting to not give in now because I don't think peace now will mean peace later; I think peace now means more demands later, things that will be harder to give to keep the peace, which will result in the OP and her DH being doormats.

I agree. It sounds like OP and her DH already do what they can to facilitate a good relationship with the ex for the child's sake. I don't think handing over whatever household items she decides to demand is a good idea.

In this case I can see how the ex may have a claim to these items(in my opinion a very tiny claim). And she asked 3 specific items and 2 of them she mentioned were gifts from her mother. So I do think to keep the relationship good in this case we have to at the very minimum give her the gift items to not start a war.

There have been no's to requests in the past where she has demanded things that weren't hers to claim(requests to come stay at the house, requesting pickup/dropoff times she knew would not work for us). This situation does suck though because it does make us feel that all that we do will never be enough for her.

Wow, the bolded is a no brainer.  I can't believe your Dh would even think about not giving these to her.  Sorry but that would just be all kinds of wrong.  This is not about child support.  That is a seperate issue and I actually think you should go after her for child support!  But keeping items her mother gave her (or considering keeping them because she's not a good enough mother) is just not right.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: LifeOnPluto on February 03, 2013, 08:19:10 PM
If she had the nerve to ask you to give her clothing that you purchased for your stepson, in order to give it to HER nephew, she will continue to ask/demand anything.


If you reverse the situation:  A divorced and remarried woman is told by her deadbeat dad of an ex husband that she needs to pony up the baby swing, highchair, etc that was used by his son when he was a baby because his new partner is having a baby I think you'd be getting a unanimous "NO!".  I think that the negative posters are assuming sentimentality and attachment towards the baby stuff.  But she doesn't seem to have that much attachment to the actual child. 

If you decide to give her anything, get it from the attic and put it in the garage.  You are not a delivery service and if she wants the stuff that badly she can come and get it.

I bolded the sentence that I found most accurate and most heartrending of all.

In her defense I know she does love her child very much. She does want to spend time with him and has said the lack of phone calls is due is because it makes her miss him more. I personally just don't have much sympathy for her. She does want everything to be convenient for her. Things like lack of calls may be tough for her but it is also damaging their relationship in the long run. My view is it's hard for me to raise another person's kid but I do it because I love him and it's not his fault he was put in this situation. She just doesn't see that yet. I'm not sure if this new child will help her make that realization or not.

Wow. She seems to be great at looking out for herself.

Agreed. Sounds like a cop-out excuse, to me.

I'd send her back the things her mother gave her, but nothing extra.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sophia on February 03, 2013, 08:28:31 PM
...ended up also packing and taking back some of my stuff that was in the crawl space, ...

The soon-to-be-ex of a then roommate of mine (we both rented rooms in the same house, we had no relationship) took some of my stuff.  It wasn't anything valuable (well washed cloth diapers - they make THE best cleaning towels).  But, as anyone that used them knows, they have more than their monetary value. 

She'd even explicitly told him she didn't want anything still in their house when she left him to travel the road with a trucker.  So, I'd no qualms about combining our kitchen stuff. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 03, 2013, 08:54:38 PM
My advice to have the DH handle it and to just give her the stuff (or whatever DH doesn't want) has nothing to do with thinking the ex is reasonable, attached to the items, or entitled to them in any way. It has everything to do with making a relationship that cannot be severed because of the child as smooth as possible. I think the OP's involvement as opposed to the DH handling it would be a poor choice and I think choosing peace is best here.

This has given me a bit of insight.  You are suggesting peace now and hoping it will mean peace in the future.  I am suggesting to not give in now because I don't think peace now will mean peace later; I think peace now means more demands later, things that will be harder to give to keep the peace, which will result in the OP and her DH being doormats.

I agree. It sounds like OP and her DH already do what they can to facilitate a good relationship with the ex for the child's sake. I don't think handing over whatever household items she decides to demand is a good idea.

In this case I can see how the ex may have a claim to these items(in my opinion a very tiny claim). And she asked 3 specific items and 2 of them she mentioned were gifts from her mother. So I do think to keep the relationship good in this case we have to at the very minimum give her the gift items to not start a war.

There have been no's to requests in the past where she has demanded things that weren't hers to claim(requests to come stay at the house, requesting pickup/dropoff times she knew would not work for us). This situation does suck though because it does make us feel that all that we do will never be enough for her.

Wow, the bolded is a no brainer.  I can't believe your Dh would even think about not giving these to her.  Sorry but that would just be all kinds of wrong. This is not about child support.  That is a seperate issue and I actually think you should go after her for child support!  But keeping items her mother gave her (or considering keeping them because she's not a good enough mother) is just not right.

This seems a bit harsh. He doesn't think really in terms of "this gift was given to ex" he thinks that these are more items that were given to their son. They are also more practical items, not really "my mother knitted this outfit and I'd like to pass it on to my future children".  I think one of the items was a bath tub. So while the initial reaction was to give her nothing(this wasn't communicated with her) they are going to her. The initial reaction was changed. I'm not sure why it's being brought up again.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: miranova on February 03, 2013, 08:59:40 PM
I'm sorry if it came out harsh but I personally think it was an important detail that her mother gave her the items in question. I am glad you are giving them to her. 

I DO understand emotions involved in stuff like this.  Believe me.  Part of me wanted to burn some of the ex's sentimental stuff when I found it, but that was temporary emotion, and I didn't actually do it.  So I understand what you are saying there.

I just think the fact that her mother gave it to her matters.  Yes the occassion was the birth of her son (also your Dh's son) but I guess if it were me and I was cleaning out my attic, anything that my ex MIL specifically gave to my ex husband would be given to him without a 2nd thought.  I wouldn't want something like that in my home if it wasn't given to me.  I wouldn't ever want my ex MIL thinking I was keeping it out of spite or anything.  Just not worth it. 

I know you have decided to give those things to her, and I think that's a good decision.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 03, 2013, 09:13:19 PM
I'm sorry if it came out harsh but I personally think it was an important detail that her mother gave her the items in question. I am glad you are giving them to her. 

I DO understand emotions involved in stuff like this.  Believe me.  Part of me wanted to burn some of the ex's sentimental stuff when I found it, but that was temporary emotion, and I didn't actually do it.  So I understand what you are saying there.

I just think the fact that her mother gave it to her matters.  Yes the occassion was the birth of her son (also your Dh's son) but I guess if it were me and I was cleaning out my attic, anything that my ex MIL specifically gave to my ex husband would be given to him without a 2nd thought.  I wouldn't want something like that in my home if it wasn't given to me.  I wouldn't ever want my ex MIL thinking I was keeping it out of spite or anything.  Just not worth it. 

I know you have decided to give those things to her, and I think that's a good decision.

Honestly I do not know if he even remembers where each item came from. So even while going through I do not think he'd know that ex-mil gave this, this and this. Just for reference my stepson is 5. So this stuff is from awhile ago and I don't think he was at the baby shower her family had.

I know if it were me in his positon I'd remember where every item came from because that is just how my brain functions. I can remember where each piece of my stepsons clothing came from. DH had no idea who bought what and just knows that it keeps appearing in the drawers magically washed  ::).

Also just to note that anything that belonged specifically to her has been given back to her no question. Anytime DH would find anything of hers, get any important mail for her, etc he would take it back. So this has really only been a problem for the items he also has a claim to. I think thats why I am having a stronger reaction when his motives behind keeping these items is questioned. So I do apologize for that. He is trying very hard to keep the peace but this request just kind of threw him as he didn't expect she would have a need for these items for many many years.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sharnita on February 03, 2013, 09:58:41 PM
I can get that but I think that also aswers the question of why she didn't think to take them with her when she left. I have never been in that situation but I would assume that when a marriage has ended and one is moving out, having more children and needing items for them is not the first thought that comes to mind.  I imagine it was difficult for everyone and "future children and the things they might need" probably didn't occur to anyone.

If her family threw the shower, that might also explain her assumption that your family would provide your baby needs by throwing you one.  Of course, that does not always happen but she might be thinking that you will have an experience similar to hers.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 03, 2013, 10:09:43 PM
He is trying very hard to keep the peace but this request just kind of threw him as he didn't expect she would have a need for these items for many many years.

I think this is why this is such an issue.  I have not personally experienced this, but my BF has.  His now ex-wife cheated on him and then married the guy she cheated with and had two more children (they already had three) in rapid succession.  Eight years later this is still difficult for my BF, and it isn't about any current desire for his wife but more "I so did not see this coming!"

I completely grasp the idea of "I thought [insert luxuriously petty or completely justified evil thought] but I did [insert gracious and rational taking the highroad behavior, perhaps through gritted teeth]."  OP, it sounds like you and your DH are doing the right thing even though you both are of course "justified" in not wanting to do it.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lynnetteleigh on February 03, 2013, 10:50:28 PM
I can get that but I think that also aswers the question of why she didn't think to take them with her when she left. I have never been in that situation but I would assume that when a marriage has ended and one is moving out, having more children and needing items for them is not the first thought that comes to mind.  I imagine it was difficult for everyone and "future children and the things they might need" probably didn't occur to anyone.

If her family threw the shower, that might also explain her assumption that your family would provide your baby needs by throwing you one.  Of course, that does not always happen but she might be thinking that you will have an experience similar to hers.

Her family did throw her a shower but it sounds like it was more low cost items that were given. Bedding, clothes, washing materials. While all the big purchases were done by her and my DH.

Her assumption seems to be that each member of my family(parents then my 3 siblings) would each take on the burden of each buying a high cost item and the current ones would be given to her. While each one of my family members is doing ok financially I do not see how she would think they are obligated to buy these items. I have all sisters and yes they would probably go nuts buying cute outfits but they would probably being buying more "cute" things than practical. Which is their right because I will not dicate what I think they should be buying for me.

He is trying very hard to keep the peace but this request just kind of threw him as he didn't expect she would have a need for these items for many many years.

I think this is why this is such an issue.  I have not personally experienced this, but my BF has.  His now ex-wife cheated on him and then married the guy she cheated with and had two more children (they already had three) in rapid succession.  Eight years later this is still difficult for my BF, and it isn't about any current desire for his wife but more "I so did not see this coming!"

I completely grasp the idea of "I thought [insert luxuriously petty or completely justified evil thought] but I did [insert gracious and rational taking the highroad behavior, perhaps through gritted teeth]."  OP, it sounds like you and your DH are doing the right thing even though you both are of course "justified" in not wanting to do it.

This is adding to the issue for sure. He did make a comment about how it sucked that me and him were planning for kids soon and then she tells us about her unplanned one. And also, as in your situation, this isn't about desire for the ex but that he did not see this coming and that we will have to deal with the emotional issues this causes their son(like why is my mom capable of raising my sibling but not me).

I have a feeling that eventually her actions may not bother us as much. But this situation does
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: lovepickles on February 04, 2013, 02:48:23 AM
She left the child and the stuff. Now she's having a new child and wants some stuff. You guys are making your own plans and there is no problem with raising your future child with with the ABANDONED items. It has been 3 years. Anything that she wanted or might have wanted in the future should have been removed upon dissolution of the marriage. You have been storing these items because you had a use for them in your future. You are planning and building your life and it isn't right to have someone come along and play on an outdated sense of ownership. She is being manipulative and has a warped sense of entitlement.

I get the whole desire to bridge a gap with this woman for the sake of a stepchild but it doesn't happen when someone demands something that rightly belongs to you/ your household. It happens when someone offers. It happens when someone asks. A good example is when my DH's ex wife was invited to our house and brought over his grandmothers teacups he had sort of left behind/forgot/couldn't deal with it when they divorced. It was a lovely gesture.

Tell her simply that you are not a storage facility and that the items she did not take are now a part of your household regardless of the history. All baby "gear" is completely off limits but any residual baby sentiment items (spoons, quilts, photos) should be discussed and fairly divided if she even cares for those.  If she has a fit explain to her that she saved a lot of money not having to pay for storage in these last few years and it should match current replacement value, if not more.

My advice is to let go of the guilt you have in owning these abandoned items and draw very FIRM boundaries with this woman. She is using your guilt to extract whatever she can from you.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: cicero on February 04, 2013, 03:49:25 AM

In her defense I know she does love her child very much. She does want to spend time with him and has said the lack of phone calls is because it makes her miss him more. I personally just don't have much sympathy for her. She does want everything to be convenient for her. Things like lack of calls may be tough for her but it is also damaging their relationship in the long run. My view is it's hard for me to raise another person's kid but I do it because I love him and it's not his fault he was put in this situation. She just doesn't see that yet. I'm not sure if this new child will help her make that realization or not.

*fixed a sentence
so - no. she doesn't love her child. when you love your child, you put your child first - especially we are talking about a five year old child, not a 30 year old!

My DS's father pulled that line on me once - he doesn't want to visit DS because it 's too hard for *him* (ex) to say goodbye. I told him to grow up - this isn't about him, it's about what's best for his child. DS is now 26 and still having difficulty coming to terms with this but he understands that, for whatever twisted reason, his bio-dad does *not* love him.

I would give her nothing - she is not talking about family heirlooms here. a plastic tub that her mother gave *for the child* when he was born? seriously? Give her nothing, and don't let her temper or guilt-inducing conversations affect you.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: bopper on February 04, 2013, 08:51:17 AM
Honestly I would leave this issue to my DH!   It's not YOUR stuff.

"If you want to go through the attic and find the stuff and get it to her, I have no problem with that.  Let me know and I will make sure me and junior go to the park so he won't be tempted to climb the ladder."
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: CharlieBraun on February 04, 2013, 09:09:21 AM
After having read all the way through on all of this thread, my advice is this:

1.  Hire a babysitter for the child;
2.  You and your husband go up into that attic and pack up everything associated with the child from babyhood, including and especially the items that were gifts;
3.  Bring them with you the next time you take the child for his visitation.

Why?  Because, IMO, if you give some but not all, you will have no peace. You will look small and petty even if you aren't.  Because this person and these things - these things, which were used for her child, are starting to take on mythic proportions.  Because they are only things.

I would not re-use the gifts given by a mother to her daughter on the birth of the child that is your stepson.  I would not refuse her these items.

Yes, you have a whole bunch of good and valid reasons not to:  the way she asked, the abandonment of the items years ago, the attic/looking for/packing/PITA aspect.

But the bottom line, in my opinion, is that there was a child, there is coming a child, the provenance and ownership of these items is far from clear, and the withholding - no matter how good and valid the reasons or excuses - smacks of churlishness.  Sorry.  It does.

Good luck. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: cicero on February 04, 2013, 09:10:19 AM
ya know? the more i think about it, i think the core issue here is your subject line: "how long after moving out can you demand ask for items back?"

if we take out all of the other stuff (her not having a relationship with her son, her demanding not asking, her not paying CS, the fact that it's not *her* stuff but belongs to her and OP's DH jointly for their son etc)- the question is how long after you move out, and supposedly took all the stuff you wanted to take, can you ask for things back?

and i think - three years is too long. i think a few months - maybe. I think that had she said to her ex, "is it ok if i leave these three things in your attic for a while?" - ok. but to just leave them, "forget" about them, and then wake up three years later? I think that etiquettely thinking, the OP is in the clear.

Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 04, 2013, 09:18:42 AM
I think that etiquettely thinking, the OP is in the clear.

I don't think any of us really disagrees with this, but this goes way beyond an etiquette issue because there is a child involved.  I think Charlie Braun stated it well.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sharnita on February 04, 2013, 09:41:26 AM
You mentioned that DH saw these as gifts to his child and I think he is partway correct. Since a woman is only supposed to get one baby shower I think many gifts (like a tub) are given "for this and future babies".

When the couple splits and each have their own "future babies" it can be tricky. Ideally, if you knew who gave what, gifts from "her" people would go to her and gifts from "his" people would go to him.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: scotcat60 on February 04, 2013, 09:41:45 AM
If you don't return the items, you may end up providing the ex with a stick with which to beat you (they are miserable, they can't be bothered to give me my sons old baby stuff they don't even need)
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: amylouky on February 04, 2013, 09:43:48 AM
I would give her the items that you can identify as coming from her mother or other close family. And that is it, and I would make it clear that nothing further would be forthcoming. I'd probably even make it clear that we were returning those items only because they were gifts from her mother.

Because this isn't about items, it's about boundaries. She is acting as if she still has ownership of the house and the things in it, and she doesn't. The fact that she demanded clothes that you had bought for your DH's son, to me, shows that she is not respecting your role as DH's wife and DS's stepmother. She's still viewing things that deal with son as her domain, and you have no say. You need to nip it in the bud, now.

Another issue that I see, and maybe I'm overthinking it, but.. your son is going to have a sibling who lives full time with a mother that he rarely gets to see. I think giving sibling your son's baby stuff (if he knows it was his) could make him resentful of her child.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: Sharnita on February 04, 2013, 09:46:34 AM
See, I think sharing baby items could create a bond.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 04, 2013, 09:51:58 AM
I would give her the items that you can identify as coming from her mother or other close family. And that is it, and I would make it clear that nothing further would be forthcoming. I'd probably even make it clear that we were returning those items only because they were gifts from her mother.

Because this isn't about items, it's about boundaries. She is acting as if she still has ownership of the house and the things in it, and she doesn't. The fact that she demanded clothes that you had bought for your DH's son, to me, shows that she is not respecting your role as DH's wife and DS's stepmother. She's still viewing things that deal with son as her domain, and you have no say. You need to nip it in the bud, now.

Another issue that I see, and maybe I'm overthinking it, but.. your son is going to have a sibling who lives full time with a mother that he rarely gets to see. I think giving sibling your son's baby stuff (if he knows it was his) could make him resentful of her child.

While I can see how this would give the OP some power, in a complex family relationship like this I think it is short sighted to present yourself as antagonistic to anyone in the stepson's life.  His mother is not going away.  She will be in the stepson's life, and hence the OPs.  If the OP is actively antagonistic to the ex (and this comes across that way to me), the stepson will likely start to think poorly of the OP because she is hurting his mother.  I have seen this play out multiple times.  Actual etiquette advice is often very poor advice in family relationships like this.

Unless I am completely misunderstanding, the items in question are not even big ticket items like a crib, but rather more like a bathtub.  I am pretty sure my DD's baby tub was at most $17. We know the ex is not particularly rational and we have concerns about her parenting.  I get that.  But she is still the stepson's mother and I think the OP can take the high road, earn the stepson's respect, and let go for a more peaceful life for everyone involved.  Coming out with essentially, "Look, I have replaced you as your husband's wife and your son's mother - what I say goes" is just not the way to go here.  (And it seems the OP gets that and is handling this well, in my opinion). 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 04, 2013, 10:15:14 AM
Unless I am completely misunderstanding, the items in question are not even big ticket items like a crib, but rather more like a bathtub.  I am pretty sure my DD's baby tub was at most $17. We know the ex is not particularly rational and we have concerns about her parenting.  I get that.  But she is still the stepson's mother and I think the OP can take the high road, earn the stepson's respect, and let go for a more peaceful life for everyone involved.  Coming out with essentially, "Look, I have replaced you as your husband's wife and your son's mother - what I say goes" is just not the way to go here.  (And it seems the OP gets that and is handling this well, in my opinion).

OP has been very clear - they have every intention of giving back the baby tub.  its really not even up for discussion - its going to the ex.  In fact all the specific items the ex has asked for are going back.

Its the other stuff, the non-specific "all baby items" that are the issue if I understand correctly.  Because the ex asked for a few specific items which she named, like the tub, plus expects the OP and her DH to pack up and hand over any and everything else baby reacted in addition.

I don't see how that could possibly earn the stepson's respect.  It would have devastated me as a small child.  First mom leaves, hardly to ever make appearances again, and then all my baby stuff leaves.  What?  Me next?  Is dad just erasing the whole beginning of my life?  Is mom just trying for a do-over and is now going to completely forget me and just do it all over exactly the same for the new kid? Or maybe stepmom hates my mother... who's part of me... maybe she'll hate me soon too and when she has a new kid she'll just ship me off and start over.

For every argument about the ex being the child's mother is an equal and opposite argument, the OP's DH is the child's father and primary parent.    Mother's do NOT have some sort of special, more important rank as a parent by default.  In some families it might end up like that, but its not an automatic and it certainly doesn't sound like it is in this case. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: amylouky on February 04, 2013, 10:21:12 AM
See, I think sharing baby items could create a bond.

I agree that it could, in a normal sibling situation where the children live together. But in this situation, where OP's stepson was 2 when his mother left, and rarely gets to see her, but the new baby lives with her all the time.. I think it could be upsetting to a 5 year old to see "his" baby stuff being shipped off for the new baby.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 04, 2013, 10:26:32 AM
See, I think sharing baby items could create a bond.

I agree that it could, in a normal sibling situation where the children live together. But in this situation, where OP's stepson was 2 when his mother left, and rarely gets to see her, but the new baby lives with her all the time.. I think it could be upsetting to a 5 year old to see "his" baby stuff being shipped off for the new baby.

And to take it further, OP and her DH - the child's father - plan to try for a kid in the next year.  OP and her DH re-using some of the older child's stuff on the new baby would be a true bonding experience because the child would see it being re-used.  And it might help him feel like he's part of the whole 'new baby' thing, like he's playing a very important "big brother" role by sharing his baby items with his new sibling.

Mom's new baby won't be part of his everyday life and he won't see the stuff being used to feel that bond.
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: TurtleDove on February 04, 2013, 10:34:11 AM
For every argument about the ex being the child's mother is an equal and opposite argument, the OP's DH is the child's father and primary parent.    Mother's do NOT have some sort of special, more important rank as a parent by default.  In some families it might end up like that, but its not an automatic and it certainly doesn't sound like it is in this case.

The point is that the OP is NOT the stepson's mother.  She sounds like an amazing step-parent.  But she is still not the stepson's mother.  I don't think anyone is saying the ex is a more important parent than the DH.  Obviously not.  No one is saying the OP is not an awesome stepmom.  Some of us are saying that no matter what, the ex will always be the stepson's mother.  It sounds like the OP is respecting that.  It sound like some posters think she shouldn't.  I think she should. 
Title: Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
Post by: WillyNilly on February 04, 2013, 10:44:10 AM
For every argument about the ex being the child's mother is an equal and opposite argument, the OP's DH is the child's father and primary parent.    Mother's do NOT have some sort of special, more important rank as a parent by default.  In some families it might end up like that, but its not an automatic and it certainly doesn't sound like it is in this case.

The point is that the OP is NOT the stepson's mother.  She sounds like an amazing step-parent.  But she is still not the stepson's mother.  I don't think anyone is saying the ex is a more important parent than the DH.  Obviously not.  No one is saying the OP is not an awesome stepmom.  Some of us are saying that no matter what, the ex will always be the stepson's mother.  It sounds like the OP is respecting that.  It sound like some posters think she shouldn't.  I think she should.

But the OP is not a stepparent is some sort of vacuum.  She is a step parent due to being married to the child's father.  that connection cannot be dismissed.  The OP is involved because her DH is the child's parent, the child's primary parent no less.  Its just the father isn't posting here, the OP is essentially posting on his behalf.  So every time anyone says 'well its her kid not yours you should give it back' its dismissing the fact that the OP is part & parcel to the child's father and the OP giving the ex the baby stuff would be the OP metaphorically slapping her own DH and the child's father across the face "its her child after all, so we have to give the stuff to her".  No its not the OP's kid.  But it is her household's and her family's kid, just as much if not moreso then the ex's.