Author Topic: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?  (Read 9820 times)

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citadelle

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #60 on: February 02, 2013, 09:38:16 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.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 09:40:15 PM by citadelle »

Sharnita

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #61 on: February 02, 2013, 09:45:07 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.

miranova

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #62 on: February 02, 2013, 11:01:51 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.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2013, 11:06:45 PM by miranova »

lynnetteleigh

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #63 on: February 02, 2013, 11:18:24 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.

lynnetteleigh

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #64 on: February 02, 2013, 11:21:56 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #65 on: February 03, 2013, 12:51:55 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.

lynnetteleigh

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #66 on: February 03, 2013, 01:07:18 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #67 on: February 03, 2013, 01:22:58 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.

lynnetteleigh

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #68 on: February 03, 2013, 01:34:51 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.

cicero

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #69 on: February 03, 2013, 04:43:00 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.

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Danika

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #70 on: February 03, 2013, 06:00:11 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.

sidi-ji

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #71 on: February 03, 2013, 06:26:11 AM »
Agree with Toots.

LeveeWoman

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #72 on: February 03, 2013, 11:26:54 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.

Shoo

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #73 on: February 03, 2013, 12:01:17 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.  ;)

Yes, this is what your husband should say.  Simple and straightforward.

Mental Magpie

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #74 on: February 03, 2013, 04:32:13 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.
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