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Author Topic: Question regarding child's possessions...when moving between homes  (Read 1593 times)

nosonew

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Soc.. my DS's dad and I divorced when he was 2. He is now 17. He has lived with me since the divorce. In January of this year when he was 16, he requested that he live with his dad. I said fine as his dad and I have always gotten along for our son's best interest.

In the last 3 months, things have been rocky there. DS and his dad are not getting along.

DS chose to move back to my home last night. His father is against it.

(We had previously verbally agreed to NOT change any court order, there would be no child support exchanged and if DS went and things didn't work out, he could move back). I am still via courts residential parent, his child support due is still in effect, although I would never ask for it during the time my DS was with him. I have been paying (in lieu of c.s.) DS's insurance, personal property tax/tags, all medical not covered by ins., buying clothing, etc.) In essence, spending more than I would if I had paid him CS.

DS moved home today, requested my DH come to his dad's and help him pack up his stuff to move. (I am a nurse and could NOT leave work without risking my license for patient abandonment).. His dad refused to help yet had earlier told Son that he could take whatever he wanted.

DH was informed by EX when he arrived that DS could leave, but with the clothes on his back and nothing else.

These are the possessions we would like to get:

1. All clothing, sports equipment, shoes, etc.
2. Computer, monitor, wireless mouse and keyboard + all programs and games bought for the computer. (DS works 40+ hours per week plus HS, is an A student).
3. Cell phone. 180.00 phone DS paid 90.00, his Stepmom paid the other half as a gift for his birthday earlier this month.
4. Cash. He has over 800.00 cash in his room, along with his wallet, etc.
5. 2nd set of keys to his vehicle he pays for.
6. 200+ DVD's DS bought, were gifts or I bought
7. 200+ Playstation games & Playstation I paid for or DS paid for. If EX bought any, could have, I don't know about this.
8. Music CD's (very numerous)


DS would LIKE to get his 32" TV and surround sound system he has in his room, but these were not "real gifts" and I personally feel were purchased by EX to equip his room with items he felt he needed.

DS is now at my home with one extra change of clothing, the clothes on his back and his vehicle.

Questions:

1. Are there any laws pertaining to the issue of personal and items such as these?

2. It has been suggested by someone I know that I have a police officer go with me to the home for a civil standby and retrieve the items.

3. Any suggestions???



socrateaser

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RE: Question regarding child's possessions...when moving between homes
« Reply #1 on: Sep 23, 2005, 10:32:31 PM »
>These are the possessions we would like to get:
>
>1. All clothing, sports equipment, shoes, etc.

Personal items are direct support to the child, therefore they are the child's possessions. If by sports eq., you mean a basketball or a glove or a bat, these are the child's. If you mean a basketball hoop, errected for the purpose of playing basketball, that's the parent's, unless you can prove it was intended as a gift (gift card, letter, etc.).

>2. Computer, monitor, wireless mouse and keyboard + all
>programs and games bought for the computer. (DS works 40+
>hours per week plus HS, is an A student).

Does the child have a receipt? If not, then it's your word against the other parent's, and a judge will have to decide if you can't work it out.

>3. Cell phone. 180.00 phone DS paid 90.00, his Stepmom paid
>the other half as a gift for his birthday earlier this month.

Same as #2, although if the cell account is in the child's name, then it's the child's. However, legally, the child can't enter into a contract, but if the cell company entered into it anyway, then the phone is the child's. But, without the contract, it's just your word against the other parent.

>4. Cash. He has over 800.00 cash in his room, along with his
>wallet, etc.

Cash has a funny way of disappearing, and the lesson is never leave cash lying around unless you intend that it disappear. The wallet is the child's.

>5. 2nd set of keys to his vehicle he pays for.

In whose name is the car titled? That person owns the keys, unless you, or the child, proves to have paid a substantial amount of the vehicle's purchase price, in which case the court may give you an equitable interest in the vehicle, and order the other parent to reimburse you for your portion of the equitable value of the vehicle, which as with most vehicles, is frequently zippo.

>6. 200+ DVD's DS bought, were gifts or I bought.

Some of this will be obvious, becase the other parent will have distinguishably different taste in movies. Others will be your word against the other parent, unless you can produce a receipt or a gift card, etc.

>7. 200+ Playstation games & Playstation I paid for or DS paid
>for. If EX bought any, could have, I don't know about this.

Same as #6.

>8. Music CD's (very numerous)

Same as #6.

>DS would LIKE to get his 32" TV and surround sound system he
>has in his room, but these were not "real gifts" and I
>personally feel were purchased by EX to equip his room with
>items he felt he needed.

If they're not real gifts, then they're the other parent's.

>Questions:
>
>1. Are there any laws pertaining to the issue of personal and
>items such as these?

Yes, the common law of contracts. See above for specific answers.

>2. It has been suggested by someone I know that I have a
>police officer go with me to the home for a civil standby and
>retrieve the items.

You will need to file a motion for clarification of the current orders re property of the child. This is a good thing, because otherwise you would have to sue in civil court and ask for an injuction and/or claim and delivery, which is not worth the effort.

>3. Any suggestions???

Weeeeell, technically if the support orders were never modifed and originally you were entitled to support but the other parent has never paid, then you could file a motion for contempt and for a judgment of arrears, and then you could use that as leverage to negotiate a settlement. However, if there is no existing support order, then this wouldn't work.

nosonew

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Update for you
« Reply #2 on: Sep 26, 2005, 05:07:59 PM »
Thanks for the info Soc..

Luckily his dad gave him all of his possessions except for tv, stereo and computer.

I told DS those are just material things..no biggie.

And #3 above... although the c.o. was never changed, I gave my word. Can't be a role model for my son by going back on my word.

So.. DS and I will save up for a computer... and he can earn via work a tv/stereo.

It worked out... thanks for your help! :)

socrateaser

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You're welcome (nm)
« Reply #3 on: Sep 26, 2005, 09:44:17 PM »
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