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I've got an issue with trying to retrieve some personal

Customer Question
Hi good morning I've...

Hi good morning I've got an issue with trying to retrieve some personal items many years after divorce

Lawyer's Assistant: Because family law varies from place to place, can you tell me what state this is in?

Ahh sorry thought you were in the UK!

Lawyer's Assistant: Have you talked to a lawyer yet?

Yes but I was'nt able to find a way to retrieve my possessions

Lawyer's Assistant: Anything else you want the lawyer to know before I connect you?

The possessions are not financial assets they're items of emotional/sentimental value - photographs and videos

Submitted: 10 months ago.Category: UK Law
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Answered in 3 hours by:
11/14/2017
Solicitor: Clare, Solicitor replied 10 months ago
Clare
Clare, Solicitor
Category: UK Law
Satisfied Customers: 35,432
Experience: family solictor with 25 years experience
Verified

Thank you for your question

My name is Clare

I shall do my best to help you but I need some further information first

Why was this not dealt with at the time of the divorce?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
That's a very good question, we agreed out of court on all the financial assets such as the house, car etc... I was told I should sort out other personal possessions myself. I was never clearly advised as to how to deal with non financial assets. Over the years I've been 'given' items of furniture and I've had no say in what has been returned to me. My ex wife has returned photographs taken before our relationship but no photographs or videos have been returned or shared out which were taken during our 14 year relationship.There does not appear to be any dispute as to whether such items such be returned, it just never happens. I've looked at emails from 2014 with responses saying 'I've just not got around to it'. More recently I offered to take a copy of the original photographs and videos and return them. My ex wife refuses to communicate in any way preferring occasionally to talk to my daughter about my requests often with confusing results. I was led to believe many months ago that something might happen but the issue lapses and I end up in the same place.I was divorced in 2010, the most distressing aspect of this is that I'm a very keen photographer and took lots of photos and videos of my daughter. As of today I do not possess any photographs of my daughter as a baby or any photos of her up to seven years old.I appear powerless even to obtain a copy of what are actually my personal possessions.
Solicitor: Clare, Solicitor replied 10 months ago

What does the Order that you agreed to say about the contents of the home?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
I will have to check and come back to you.
Solicitor: Clare, Solicitor replied 10 months ago

That is fine

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Hi Clare,
I've been through the divorce paperwork and there is no mention of personal possessions. All I have is a letter covering financial matters.The letter has six points three covering the house, child support and current account overdraft.Points 4,5 and 6 are not so clear to me but all appear financial:-4. Capital, income and clean break
5. Clean break on death
6. No order as to costsAs I remember I raised the question about personal possessions and was told to sort that out separately. It looks like I have whatever is the agreed way of sharing out possessions. In my case there was no concept of sharing or being involved in the decisions about obtaining personal possessions. I was 'given' unwanted possessions and in the case of photographs I was given photographs that pre-dated our relationship. Over the years I've asked for and received items like tools mainly from her partner.The items I've been given are:-Wardrobe, display cabinet, small table and TV corner unitItems I've asked for and received:-PS4
Tools
Photographs ( received photos pre-dating our relationship)The sad reality is I don't have photographs of my daughter as a baby or up to seven years old and I don't have any videos either. I've always been led to believe that this issue will be resolved in good faith but it hasn't and never will as far as I can see.Please can you advise whether there is anything that can be done?.
Solicitor: Clare, Solicitor replied 10 months ago

When you say letter - do you mean an order sealed by the court?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Hi Clare,
I'm attaching the consent order for you to review. I fear the order prevents any claim on property or assets other than what is stated in the order. Its very disappointing to find out that I've not had a say in the sharing out of personal belongings and that this wasn't covered in the order.I await your thoughts most notably as to whether personal belongings are considered property or assets?.
Solicitor: Clare, Solicitor replied 10 months ago

Apart from the photographs what have you asked for but not been given?

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Customer reply replied 10 months ago
Hi Clare,
I've asked for many items which have not been provided. A summary of what happened is as follows. At the end of 2010 the divorce finalised. I was initially homeless and then lived in a flat until May 2013. In the period from Oct 2010 to May 2013 nothing much happened regarding belongings. There was a general agreement and understanding that when I moved into a new home we would agree on and share out belongings.In early 2013, just before I moved into a new home a conversation started regarding sharing out belongings. At the time I owned nothing you would need to move into a new home with, no furniture, not even a kettle!. It was for this reason I asked on a room by room, area by area basis to share out belongings. It soon became evident that certain areas would not be considered and requests to share were ignored. I asked to share out garden equipment and furniture, I asked to share out kitchen equipment and things like soft furnishings for e.g. none of which were shared. In this conversation (as has been the case over the last seven years) I was initially led to believe she would share out photographs and videos.At that point a familiar thing happened, the conversation ended and I was left in the situation of being 'told' what can be shared. I specifically asked at the time for a share of the photographs which included Tianna my daughter. Some time later some photographs were returned however it was clear they were censored. The pictures pre-dated our relationship and there were no photographs or videos which included Tianna.In recent months I was still led to believe something would happen but as usual the moment passes as it has done for many years. Myself I've found this a desperate and difficult situation and it has caused years of stress and disappointment. It continues to do so.Looking at the order, it doesn't cover belongings or provide any guidance or rules as to how they should be shared out. It appears financial.I await your response in the hope anything can be done.
Solicitor: Clare, Solicitor replied 10 months ago

How old is your daughter now?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Hi Clare, Sorry I missed your response. Tianna is 14 now and was 7 at the time of the divorce in 2010. I was hoping to obtain some share of the photos/media for the seven years before her birth and 7 years after. The first seven years of her life are the ones that are difficult to live without.
Solicitor: Clare, Solicitor replied 9 months ago

Did you say that your ex's new partner is easier to deal with?

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Hi Clare, In the past around 2013 I did ask him for tools etc... and he did oblige without asking my ex wife. Its difficult to say what either of them are like now as I have no means of communicating with either of them other than turning up on their door. They do live in the next street btw. In the last two years my ex wife has taken to ignoring any messages or attempts to strike up a dialogue, its a total black out. I've never got angry over this or hassled her choosing to keep asking every now and again.
Solicitor: Clare, Solicitor replied 9 months ago

I am sorry but there is simply no basis on which you can go to court now to recover any of the belongings.

Had you taken action immediately after the Order was made then it would have been possible to salvage something - but at this late stage you are entirely reliant on the goodwill of either your ex or her partner.

The only other possibility - an option others have followed - is to wait until your daughter is older and ask her to bring them so that you can get them copied - or even to scan them

I am sorry - i was looking for a work around but sadly I cannot see one

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Customer reply replied 9 months ago
Hi Clare, thank you for your efforts. Its a very sad state of affairs , I wish I had been advised at the time as to how to deal with this. Thanks again and Happy Christmas.
Solicitor: Clare, Solicitor replied 9 months ago

Thank you - and I am so sorry - it is indeed a sadness that such situations arise

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