When you get divorced, you have to divide everything up — including all the household items that you’ve gathered over the years. That means the furniture, the things in your cupboards and the items that have accumulated in your garage.
Some of those household items are merely practical. Taking them with you means that you don’t have to spend a lot of extra money right away to replace them. Other items may also have sentimental value.
Here are some tips you and your spouse can use to divide up the household items:
1. Agree that most things aren’t worth fighting about.
This could be hard, but you both need to commit to the idea that you’ll get through this part of the divorce without involving the court. Otherwise, you’ll probably end up spending more money than your furnishings are worth.
2. Make a list of everything that has to be divided.
Consider grouping certain items together as a unit. For example, the master bedroom set and possibly the living room furniture should stay together.
3. Set aside any contested or personal items.
Maybe you agree that your spouse can have the tools and you get the kitchen items. If that’s so, set those things aside and move on. Similarly, if there are any items of great value (emotional or physical) that has to be negotiated at length, set those aside.
4. Establish a value for everything.
Ideally, you and your spouse can agree on the rough value of your furnishings. If you can’t, you may need to seek outside assistance. However, try to find figures you can both agree are reasonable.
4. Take turns choosing.
Flip a coin or draw a playing card from a deck to see who goes first. That person gets to pick one item (or grouped set of items) from the things that need to be divided. Then the other spouse gets to pick items of roughly equal value. Once they are done, move onto the next round.
When you’re finished, you both should have claimed about an equal share of the household items. Anything unwanted can be easily donated somewhere to make clearing out the house easier.
For more advice on property division issues that is specific to your situation, seek guidance from an experienced attorney.