Dividing Household Goods during a Divorce



Big issues like who gets the house and who gets custody of the children tend to attract the most attention during a Pasadena divorce settlement. But, there are also several other smaller disputes that must be settled as you are legally ending your marriage. For example, you must decide who will keep the items in your jointly shared living quarters.

Obviously, property that each spouse purchased before the marriage should remain with that person. Inherited items have a clear "owner" as well. These are easily divided, but items that were joint purchases or those with a specific sentimental value don't have a clear-cut procedure for deciding who gets what.

Generally, divorce attorneys agree that the best way to divide household goods and property is to simply accept that you are not going to get all of the items you want. Divorce, like marriage, is about compromise. If it's important to you to have the TV, you're probably not going to convince your spouse to give up the leather couch as well. Set your priorities early on and keep them in mind throughout your negotiations.

If your household goods include handmade items, antiques, or collectibles, it may be necessary to obtain some sort of third-party appraisal to accurately assess their value. Enlisting the services of an accredited appraiser is ideal, but an experienced second hand store owner may be able to offer a fair assessment of an item's value as well. Then, you can offer to provide cash reimbursement for the item to your spouse if it is something you really want to keep after the divorce.

In the case of children's items, the parent who will have primary custody of the children normally keeps the larger items, such as furniture for the bedrooms. Toys and clothing can be divided between the homes equally or the children can pack a suitcase with their favorite things to bring back and forth between visits, depending upon their age and your personal preferences.

Judges and mediators generally do not want to be involved in the division of household goods. These services are reserved for the key components of a divorce settlement. You and your spouse are supposed to figure out the smaller details amongst yourselves, unless there are extenuating circumstances. Then, your Pasadena divorce lawyer can provide you with advice as to the most effective way of handling the situation.