How to Divide Household Goods During a Divorce


Pasadena divorce laws require that community property be divided among spouses, but the judge is not interested in deciding who gets the toaster and who gets the coffee table when you divorce. For the most part, you're expected to work out the division of household goods with your spouse on your own.

First, make a complete inventory of all of the items in each room of your home. A video inventory is often very helpful in this regard. Once the inventory is complete, check off items that were the property of one person before the marriage, the sole inheritance of one person, or a gift given exclusively to one spouse. These items are considered separate property and not subject to division in a divorce. For the remaining items, you'll need to go through the list one by one and decide who receives what. Keep in mind that the division of items needs to take into account their monetary value. If you have your heart set on leaving with a state of the art home theater set up, you need to be prepared to give up something of equal value in return.

For items you can't agree on, you can create a draft similar to a football draft. Flip a coin and let the winner pick an item he or she wants to keep. The other spouse will then need to choose items that have an equivalent value.

If you have children, most items that belong to the child should go to the parent who has custody the majority of the time. However, you will still want to make sure that the noncustodial parent has a few of the children's things so that they feel comfortable and welcome when they visit.

How Can We Help?

If you are in need of legal representation during your divorce, please call our office at (626) 683-8113 or email us at Our team of skilled Pasadena divorce lawyers can help answer any questions that you might have about how California's community property laws will affect your settlement.