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Jo C.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
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Experience:  Over 5 years in practice
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My husband and I divorced relatively amicably in January this

Customer Question

My husband and I divorced relatively amicably in January this year. We were separated since 16th July 2012. He is, however, being very slow in removing his personal possessions from my home and I can foresee this going on indefinitely. I have been very patient because he claims he has nowhere to store his goods, although I have provided him with a divorce settlement that would easily cover the rent of a flat and/or fees to put his goods into storage. I feel he is being deliberately obstinate about it.

If I say to him that he has until 15th July 2013 to remove his belongings (ie one year exactly since he moved out) and after that time I will pay for a house clearance company to come and remove and dispose of the items whether he wants me to or not, will this be legal? Can I legally get rid of things that are his if they are in my house? We agreed to split our possessions out of court, so there are no written guidelines on what each person legally owns and there is no argument about ownership of anything and I would be happy for him to remove anything that he thought was his to take. I just want his stuff gone! Please can you advise me? I'd be very grateful. With thanks in advance, Isabel.
Submitted: 3 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
Is it clear what he owns and does not own?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Pretty much - all the tools, stuff in the shed, his bicycles, stereo and records are his plus a ton of junk in the loft which is his. Does that help?

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
If there is no dispute over what he owns and does not own and the divorce settlements deals conclusively with ownership of the house then there is no reason that you should be storing his goods.

In principle, you are entitled to deal with these goods as though they were abandoned and dispose of them but it's never quite that simple.

The law of abandonment is quite badly defined but basically if you follow this guide you won't go far wrong.

Write to him at his latest address. Send recorded delivery. Keep a copy of the letter. Make clear in the letter that he has 28 days to remove the goods and thereafter you will dispose of them. It wouldn't be a bad idea to send text as well with the same information.

If he does not collect then you are free to dispose of them and you will be able to prove that you gave him a reasonable opportunity to collect his goods.

Hope this helps. Please rate my answer OK SERVICE or above and I can answer your related questions.
Jo C., Barrister
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 69369
Experience: Over 5 years in practice
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Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you so much, that's very helpful. I will do as you suggest.


 


Thank you!

Expert:  Jo C. replied 3 years ago.
No problem

All the best.

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