Author Topic: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?  (Read 8505 times)

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LifeOnPluto

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #90 on: February 03, 2013, 09:19:10 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.

Sophia

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #91 on: February 03, 2013, 09:28:31 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. 

lynnetteleigh

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #92 on: February 03, 2013, 09:54:38 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.

miranova

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #93 on: February 03, 2013, 09:59:40 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.

lynnetteleigh

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #94 on: February 03, 2013, 10:13:19 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.

Sharnita

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #95 on: February 03, 2013, 10:58:41 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.

TurtleDove

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #96 on: February 03, 2013, 11:09:43 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.

lynnetteleigh

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #97 on: February 03, 2013, 11:50:28 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

lovepickles

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #98 on: February 04, 2013, 03:48:23 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.

cicero

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #99 on: February 04, 2013, 04:49:25 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.

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bopper

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #100 on: February 04, 2013, 09:51:17 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."

CharlieBraun

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #101 on: February 04, 2013, 10:09:21 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. 
"We ate the pies."

cicero

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #102 on: February 04, 2013, 10:10:19 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.


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TurtleDove

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #103 on: February 04, 2013, 10:18:42 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.

Sharnita

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Re: How long after moving out can you ask for items back?
« Reply #104 on: February 04, 2013, 10:41:26 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.