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Is it easy to recover my belongings after I’ve moved out of the marital home?

How do I get all my belongings back after I've left the marital home?

When a relationship ends and you move out of the home you once shared often there isn’t enough time to take all of your belongings with you. It’s a situation made harder, sometimes contentious, if your former partner refuses to give back what’s yours or says items have “gone missing”.

When this happens the parties tend to become frustrated as one person may not be acting reasonably, meanwhile the other person feels recovering their belongings is impossible.

When couples separate it can be difficult to sit down and work out who takes what. In some circumstances, one person may take all of the furniture and a value will be agreed so that the former spouse who is retaining the furniture will pay the other their share of what it is worth.

The Family Court’s attitude towards valuing furniture is that it will adopt the second-hand value as opposed to the purchased, replacement or insured value.  Unless the items are valuable antiques or collectibles it is often not financially sensible to arrange for someone to independently value everyday household furniture.  In some cases the costs for the valuation can exceed the cost of the value of the furniture itself.  Similarly, in most cases it would not be sensible to have your solicitor spend significant time arguing over furniture as you may find the costs associated with your solicitor will far outweigh the value of the furniture.

 

It is not financially sensible to argue over furniture.  Sentimental items and valuables should be taken prior to leaving the home.  In circumstances where you cannot do this, you may wish to keep a record and photographs of the furniture and collect it from the property as soon as possible or request that a friend or independent third party attend and collect it for you.

 

Trying to recover household furniture when leaving the former matrimonial home can be stressful and costly so making all efforts to obtain these things prior to leaving is something to be mindful of if you are considering separation.

 

For more information or advice in relation to all legal aspects of separation please contact Tindall Gask Bentley’s Family Law team.

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