5 tips to help divide your possessions during divorce

Breaking up may be hard to do, but some couples find dividing up their possessions even harder. How can two people who are dividing up their lives divide up their material possessions fairly?

Consider these tips:

-- Find out how much you really need to argue.

If you and your spouse each make a list of your "must haves," you may find it much easier to focus on just the items in dispute. You may find, to your relief, that your spouse has no interest in the art you've acquired over the years because it's all more to your taste. Similarly, your spouse may be relieved to find out that you don't care about the good china. Try to negotiate a split of the items that you both want, even if it means taking turns picking from the list.

-- Keep in mind what you need for the future.

If you're both starting in new places, you may each need basics like a bed, couch and dining room table. You may have enough of each to split, especially if you are both moving out of a house and into apartments. If not, be prepared to divide up the bigger items fairly so that neither one of you is stuck buying all new things on a tight budget.

-- Remember that payments may go with property.

If you owe money on furniture, a car or some other item that has to be divided between you, remember that the person who gets the item is also getting the bill. Keep your budget in consideration.

--4. If the value of something is in doubt, get it appraised.

If there are high-ticket items that you need to divide, an appraisal can make sure that neither of you are cheated when it comes to getting your fair share. This is particularly useful if you have collections you've acquired together.

If you don't wish to split up the collection, one of you may have to agree to buy out the other's share.

-- Try to decide what's best for any pets.

Keep in mind that courts consider pets an asset, so they aren't interested in its well-being. Try to work together to keep the pet with the person to whom it is most attached.

For more assistance with property division and to learn more about our approach, please visit our page.

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