You and your spouse used to love scouring antique shops, furniture stores and art shows for unique items for your home. Now that you’re divorcing, all of those items that brought you joy have to be divided between you. The property division process can be combative and stressful. Couples sometimes end up fighting over things that neither of them really cares about just to seemingly come out ahead – or, worse, to hurt the other person.
It doesn’t have to be that way. Here are a few tips to make the process of dividing up household items less painful.
First, determine which ones you each brought in to the marriage, inherited or received as gifts. Those are typically considered separate property that you can each keep. That will narrow down what is marital property, which you’re dividing up. Talk with your attorney if you have any questions about separate vs. marital property.
Once you determine what property you need to divide, make an inventory. Be as detailed as possible. It’s better to include everything down to the everyday dishes so that there’s no question about who’s taking what with them.
If you’re able to sit down together and work out the division of your household property without having your attorneys involved, you’ll save yourself some money. If you’re having a mediated divorce, you may choose to handle this as part of the mediation.
Leave your emotions out of it. That’s easier said than done. However, if you focus on getting what you want or need to keep rather than how much your spouse hurt you and deserves to pay by never getting to use that Peloton bike (that you’ve never used) again, things will go a lot faster.
Even if your family law attorney doesn’t have to get directly involved in the process, it’s wise to talk with them first. They can give you some helpful advice and guidance.