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Dividing up the household items in a divorce can be an emotional experience, so it's wise to agree on a method of doing so with your spouse before you start.

Here is one of several methods people use to divide their property:

1. Make a list

In fact, you and your spouse may need to make several lists before you start dividing things. The lists should be as comprehensive as possible. One way to do it is to go room-by-room. Any special items that need to be valued should be appraised before its time to negotiate by an appraiser you both agree to trust.

2. Agree to divide what you can

Often, couples find that many objects aren't really an issue. For example, you may have no interest in the living room furniture that your spouse wants, while your spouse may not care at all about the household tools. If you can agree to divide many of your household items this way, you may save time, effort and money -- and you may be able to part amicably with your spouse.

3. Take turns picking the rest

Once you know which items you both want to keep, you can flip a coin to see who gets to pick from the remaining items first. Once that's done, it's the other person's turn. This method forces both people to focus their priorities and eliminates a lot of arguing. For the sake of expediency, try to group similar items together as one "item." For example, all of the crystal glassware could be considered "one" item, as could all of the silkscreen prints.

The division of your assets and property in a divorce doesn't always have to be difficult. When it is, however, make sure that you have an experienced attorney by your side.


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