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Ask Clare Your Own Question
Clare, Family Solicitor
Category: Family Law
Satisfied Customers: 35219
Experience:  I have been a solicitor in High Street Practise since 1985 and have specialised in Family Law for the last 10 years
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I separated from my partner 7 years ago. We have 2 children

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Hi, I separated from my partner 7 years ago. We have 2 children and left him in the family home at the time. We are join owners of the property which is now being sold and the proceeds split. I have discovered this week that he has emptied the contents of our home behind my back. I have had no opportunity to go in and collect any personal items as he changed the locks. I can live without the furniture etc but he has photographs and one item which came from the home I had before I met him and it is of huge sentimental value. Do I have any power to get these items back as we cohabited? Thanks
Assistant: Where are you located? It matters because laws vary by location.
Customer: I live in Cheshire, UK
Assistant: Has anything been filed or reported?
Customer: No. I have been advised by friends that, in effect, this is theft. The issue is proof. He has all of the photos which also show the item he has taken and it's location in my previous home.
Assistant: Anything else you want the solicitor to know before I connect you?
Customer: I don't think so. Thanks

Thank you for your quetsion

My name is Clare

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

Have you asked for the return of the items?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Hi Clare. Yes I have. His view is that he has taken what he bought. He did buy the large pieces of furniture as I paid for other things eg deposit on house, private health care, childcare, food etc I appreciate that as we were cohabiting he has the right to take the items he paid in spite of it not being morally fair when you see the bigger picture. However, there are sentimental items he has taken which were mine. He will not communicate on giving them back although admitted they were in Chesterfield which is where he stays with his girlfriend. I have emailed him to request their return but no response yet.

Do the items also have a monetary value?

Customer: replied 7 months ago.
No. Sentimental value. A gift from my dad who has now passed on and family photos.

My apologies for the delay

You were entitled to receive all items that you purchased - or which you were given as gifts - and he has no right to retain them.

You can sue him for the value of the items and within the application ask for their return - but of course if he has disposed of them then all you can ask for is compensation.

I am sorry that the news is not better - please ask if you need further details

Clare and other Family Law Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
Many thanks.