Divorce is a difficult experience that many couples go through, affecting approximately 42% of couples according to the Office of National Statistics. If you find yourself in this situation, you will eventually have to deal with dividing your possessions, determining ownership of individual items, and deciding the fate of joint belongings. This can be a complex task, even in amicable separations. To assist you, we have gathered some suggestions to simplify the process.
Don’t underestimate the importance of the storage unit
When facing the situation of a storage unit after a separation, it may seem appealing to postpone dealing with it until things have settled down, especially if you have been solely responsible for its expenses. However, it is important to remember that the contents of the storage unit are jointly owned, and failing to disclose them during the divorce process could lead to accusations of concealing valuable assets. Therefore, it is generally recommended to prioritize honesty in this matter. While the items stored might not have significant monetary value, they often hold significant emotional value for one or both parties, which can further complicate the situation.
If your spouse is the one with access to the storage unit rather than you, it is crucial to communicate to them that the items inside the unit are shared belongings and should be viewed as part of the assets to be divided. If it is not possible to resolve this issue amicably, it is advisable to seek legal assistance in order to halt any changes to the contents until the proceedings are finalized.
Take an inventory
If you don’t have one already, obtaining a comprehensive list of the items within the unit can prove highly beneficial. This not only provides a complete record of its contents but also facilitates the management of items that hold solely sentimental value.
Creating an inventory facilitates the identification of stored items and their potential value, which aids in the process of reaching a consensus on ownership. Begin by addressing the simpler items and resolving them to maximize your overall progress. As you approach more challenging items, consult the inventory to assess their worth and engage in a calm conversation to explore various options.
One advantage of using this method is that it ensures transparency and prevents any suspicion of concealment. Moreover, in case the court decides to conduct an inspection of the unit, you will be present to accompany them throughout the process.
Think twice before immediately discarding any item
When faced with the urge to discard items you perceive as useless, it may seem satisfying to simply grab a black trash bag and dispose of them. This feeling of catharsis is particularly intense after a challenging breakup, as it may be tempting to seek revenge or avoid painful memories associated with the items. However, it is important to refrain from doing so. Instead, compile a list of all the items in question and discuss it with your ex-partner. If they agree to dispose of the items, proceed accordingly. Nevertheless, it is advisable to obtain their agreement in writing as a precautionary measure.
Discover your rights of access throughout a divorce
Many storage facilities, like the Blue Box self storage, have established protocols to handle situations where a spouse attempts to enter a storage unit during divorce proceedings. These protocols are typically outlined in the rental contract, but it is advisable to consult with the storage unit manager for further clarification. These procedures may include verifying one’s identity through security questions or obtaining authorization before allowing the ex-spouse access. However, it should be noted that some storage companies prefer not to intervene in such matters. As long as both parties have fulfilled their rental obligations and possess the necessary access codes and keys, the storage company may choose to remain impartial.