Divide small property on your own

Thankfully, I rarely get involved in dividing furniture and silverware.  I say thankfully because it would be such a waste of my client’s time and money for me to get involved.  When it comes to house hold items, courts generally put a minimal value on everything.  Thus, you will most likely upset the judge by complaining about a division of furniture.  This could be tough because you probably paid good money for the items in your house.  As always, I suggest you discuss these issues with your divorce attorney but you should work out the division of most of the small items on your own. 

Here are some tips:

1.  First decide what belongs to you,  what belongs to your spouse and what belongs to you both of you.  Family heirlooms, pre-marital assets and hobby specific items such as golf clubs are usually pretty easy to decide.  If you are the husband, what are you really going to do with her craft supplies?  Likewise, as a wife, do you really want the neon NY Jets clock? 

2.  Now that there are three piles of items, create some lists and each spouse should have a copy.   Going forward, we are only talking about marital property since that is the only class of items that are in dispute.

3.  Is there anything that is truly personal to one of you even though it is technically a marital asset?  If your spouse really has an attachment to something, fighting with him/her over that item is not going to make things any easier.   Giving in a little could help  you in the long run.

4.  Examine the post-divorce living arrangements.  If you are both moving into a new place, you each need forks, plates, couches, etc.  However, if someone is moving in with a friend, family member or will otherwise have a furnished place, then those items are unnecessary.  Thus, the spouse moving into a furnished place may want to give up furnishings like couches and tables for more luxary items such as the big screen TV.

5.  Do not worry that the lists are not 100% even.  No one says it has to be.  You want to be comfortable and you should want your soon to be ex-spouse to be comfortable as well.  Even if you don’t care about your spouse’s comfort level at this point, remember that this is not a competition.

6.  Sell items on Craigslist.  Remember that if you are both moving out, you both have to get all of that stuff to two other places.  Are you really going to use all of it?  If neither of you are really fond of the sofa but it is in good condition, try putting it on Craigslist.  It will  cost you nothing and any sale will put money in both of your pockets.

7.  Reduce the final lists into an agreement and have both parties sign it.  While it doesn’t need to become a part of your property settlement agreement (PSA), you should still have some type of record as to  who got what.  If items are thrown out, include those too in another list. 

8.  Once the lists are drawn up, speak to your attorney again to see if he or she wants the lists to attach to the PSA or the divorce file. 

If you are ready to divorce different, call Jef Henninger today.  He can represent clients in any court in New Jersey including Essex, Hudson and Bergen County.

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Posted on December 30, 2009, in Articles and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. Thank you so much, there aren’t enough posts on this… or at least i cant find them. I am turning into such a blog nut, I just cant get enough and this is such an important topic… i’ll be sure to write something about your site

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