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Ex partner wanting white goods back after separation


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need some legal advice on current situation.


me and my partner spilt 3 years ago, we have a 3 year child together. we moved into a rented council house while i was pregnant and as he used to be in the army the british legion paid something towards the white goods, washer, oven and fridge and towards the carpets.

after we separated he left the home and was very happy for me to keep the goods as they were necessary for his daughter.

now after 3 years.. (he is now engaged and living with his new partner in fully furnished home with his 2 other children) he has had his solicitor contact me stating that he wants the goods back and to arrange when he can come to collect.

this then would leave me and his daughter with no carpets, fridge or cooking appliances. Can he legally do this?? i am on benefits so i would not be able to replace these things.

i have to reply to this letter myself as i do not qualify for legal aid anymore so any advice would be grateful.

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Hi bee


Welcome to CAG


The guys will advise as soon as they are available.


(Because of your daughters age, I doubt very much that a judge would make such a judgement to return the goods regardless of who paid for it).

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N o he wouldn't be able to just do that, and his solicitor must know that. All you have to reply is 'we will let a judge decide who keeps them'.


I know whose side my money will go.


If, on the other hand, it should go his way, you are fully entitled to charge him 3 years storage which I'm sure will come to more than replacing the goods.

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This is a very cruel story.


However, in principle he could be entitled to receive something – although if it went to court, I can imagine that the judge would feel very much on your side.


Please can you let us know how long you lived together in the rented accommodation – and in particular for how much of that period did you have these shared goods. Also, you say that he paid something towards these items. This suggests that he didn't pay for them outright. Is this correct? If so, what portion of these items did he pay?


You say that he left the home but was very happy to allow you to keep the goods in order to care for your daughter. Did he actually say this to you? Was the matter discussed at all?


When the items were bought, with a brand-new? How much was paid for them at the time? What do you estimate their value to be now?


Also, does he have anything to do with his daughter now and does he make any contribution to her upkeep?

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We lived together nov 2011 to feb 2012 as we had to do up the house and as i was heavily pregnant it took much longer till we actually moved in. We received the goods as soon as we were able to move in.

The british legion paid for it all as my ex was ex army and explained to them that we had got a property and that i was pregnant and they offered to contribute as we had nothing. all the white goods were brand new and we were just asked what we needed and they delivered them, so i dont know how much they were.



the carpets we had to get a quote and send them it which they then paid. my ex paid nothing towards these items. the white goods are now 3 years old, the bed and wardrobes that they also paid for have broke and been replaced by myself.


unfortunately the reason we broke up was due to his violent and aggressive behavior so contact at the beginning was strained. he has persisted to be this way for the whole of the last 3 years, with threats to myself and my new partner, i have contacted the police and sought advice for 'my sister's place' as the police were not helpful at all. When contact was given, he was abusive to me when he came to collect her and regularly threatened not to bring her back causing unnecessary stress. i have all the answer machine messages and social media correspondence to prove his attitude towards me if this did go to court.


As he was behaving like this in front of our daughter, i stated that he could no longer come to the house and that he was to have contact though a third party. thankfully his mother agreed to pick our daughter up from me and bring her back, i also started to allow overnight stays but he recently informed me that they were having another baby so this has to stop. i have never once tried to stop the contact between him and his daughter, even though i was very nervous when he did have her but i did say he could only have contact through third party as it was distressing our daughter when he was shouting at me in her presence. he has paid CSA finally after months and months of chasing.


in the solicitor letter that ive just received he has stated that he is not happy with not being able to collect her himself and that i have constantly not allowed contact and that he has made a referral to mediation, i am under the impression that if i go i can do it separately and not be in the same room as him, as i am in the early stages of pregnancy and dont think i could handle the stress.

i have no idea why he is still behaving this way after 3 years and causing me so much stress, when he has nothing more to gain.

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So ex never actually paid for them.

We could do with some help from you.



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It sounds like this has nothing to do with the returns of the goods, he's trying to use the 'goods' as a bargaining tool, 'if you let me have full access then I will drop my claim for the 'goods'.


It's surprising his solicitor has written such a letter.

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Well done on keeping all of the text messages and correspondence etc. You must keep on doing this. It is very important. Make sure that you get this data copied off the telephone into a secure place in case the telephone is lost or stops working.


It is quite an extraordinary story given that all of the money was paid for by the British Legion.


It is outrageous that the police are not prepared to get involved. I would suggest that you write immediately to your member of Parliament and complain that you are a victim of domestic violence and that the police have expressed a lack of interest. Ask the MP to intercede on your behalf. This kind of stuff is very topical now days and I'm sure that the MP will write a letter and I'm sure that you will get a completely different attitude from the police.


If I were you, I would write a succinct letter to the solicitor.


Explain to him that you have no intention of returning goods or paying any money for them. Tell them that the goods were gifted as a matter of charity by the British Legion because of your daughter. Tell them that you have been subject to domestic violence and continuing aggression by your ex-partner and that you consider all of these approaches and indeed the solicitor's letter could amount to harassment.


Tell your solicitor that you consider that the arrangements are you have made for granting access to your daughter through a third party – your ex-partner's own mother – are completely reasonable and you're not prepared to change them given the state of aggression and the fear that you are experiencing.


Tell the solicitor that if they feel that they have any issues with this, that they should take the matter to court and you will be happy to explain your position to judge so that it can be dealt with by a competent and independent professional.


By the way, do you have any social workers who are supporting you? If so make sure that they know everything that is going on. Send them a copy of this letter to the solicitor – and make sure that it is clear on the bottom letter that you have copied it to the social services as well. When the solicitor realises that you are being very open about this and that you are involving social services, he will start to understand that maybe it is all getting out of control and he will give some better advice to his client.

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Incidentally, if you can eventually get the police involved and get a reference number – I would then write to the British Legion with a copy of the solicitor's letter and explain to them that your ex-partner is trying to get the goods back himself even though they were paid for by the British Legion because of your daughter.


I would asked the British Legion to make a formal comment about the situation and what they say about the ownership of the goods. However, wait for a police reference number first.

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Thank you so much for your help in this matter, i have not had any input from social services mainly for the fear of them taking his side. the police who have visited me on many occasions, the last time when he threatened to me and my partner at that time said that there was nothing they could do unless i paid for a molestation/court order, which i didnt have the finances to do. when he came shouting and being abusive on there advice as i was to ring the police straight away and when they came they just asked him to 'move on' which he then rang me afterwards and laughed. Unfortunately he is very much like Jekyll and hyde, he plays the game very well to authorities and obviously his solicitor as being the victim in all of this.

how would i get the messages off the answer machine? in case that happens with the phone.

unfortunely he is very bitter that ive moved on, i am in the process of finding another home, after which i am more than happy for him to take the carpets etc but if he were to take them now it would then make his daughters home inhabitable, whould i mention this in the letter? as he stated privately to me he doesn't actually want them its just through spite.

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To get the messages of the phone, you need a small digital recorder and ideally an Olympus TP8 http://www.amazon.co.uk/Olympus-TP-8-Telephone-Pick-Microphone/dp/B007OXMHDE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1413283056&sr=8-1&keywords=olympus+tp7 . They are pretty cheap – but I understand that you may not have the money for it.


Have you got a note of the times of the police visits? You need to log every visit – meaning the time date circumstances and the collar numbers of any police officers who visit.


I would suggest that you continue to follow the advice I have given you above – including writing to your MP.

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Also, if you do get the TP 8 and a little recorder, and keep it by the telephone – you will be able to record any other calls that come through from him and then for safe storage.


You should record all of your calls – always – whether it is to banks, debt collectors, or violent ex-partners.

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Look at the women's aid survivors handbook as I think your entitled to legal aid for a non molestation order regardless of income. If this is true the police have given you incorrect info, plus theyre supposed to be more on the ball with regards domestic abuse.

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