How To Split Household Items in a Divorce
According to the Boston Globe, the average American home contains 300,000 items from couches to spoons. Those who have been stressed from trying to maintain an unhappy marriage are also likely to have stress-spent. CreditKarma conducted a survey where they found that 35 percent of people stress-spend monthly. While some of those purchases are on food or alcohol, seven percent of men said they had bought a car to ease stress. When it comes time to divorce, splitting these household items can be a challenge. Some items are used more by one spouse, some items have sentimental value, and some items may actually feel like a burden that neither party wants to take on. Here are some tips for how to proceed with splitting household items.
Make a List
You likely have already thought of your favorite piece of furniture that you absolutely must hold on to post-divorce, but there are also possessions you take for granted and forget are even joint property. First thing to do is make a list of all the major items throughout the household. Go room by room and consider what of value is in the following locations:
- Living room;
- Dining room;
- Master bedroom;
- Guest bedrooms;
- Office area;
- Shed, garage, or outdoor area.
When it comes to children’s items, those should be considered their property. You may have purchased a coat for your son or daughter and would prefer that coat stay at your new residence, but ultimately children need to feel that they have some ownership of their toys, clothes, and other belongings.
Get An Appraisal
For high-ticket items, including the house itself, it may be worth getting an appraiser to determine the worth before deciding who gets it. Some items may be worth selling and splitting the proceeds equally. Other items, such as a car, may not fully be owned by either spouse yet and whoever gets the property will also be burdened with the payments on it as well. Commonly appraised items during a divorce include:
- Fine china;
- Cars, boats, airplanes, and other motorized vehicles;
- Furs; and
Be Prepared to Compromise
Together you and your spouse may be able to split the majority of the house with no issue. For instance, some property is not marital property to begin with or is only used by one spouse. For the items you both want, you can agree to take turns picking items. Another option is to negotiate either with each other directly, through lawyers, or with a mediator to determine who gets what after the divorce.
Contact A San Jose Family Law Attorney About Your Divorce
Divorce is a stressful time and when you are hurt emotionally it can be difficult to separate yourself from possessions that gave you joy in the past. A San Jose divorce attorney can help guide you through the process of splitting household items and advocate on your behalf for any items that need to be negotiated over. Schedule a free consultation with the compassionate and skilled attorneys at Foster Hsu, LLP by calling 408-841-7200 today.