Tips on distributing items after divorce

November 3, 2015

Divorce is never easy and deciding who keeps what is one of the difficult tasks. Here are suggestions to make sure the property is divided fairly and equally, with no hard feelings.

Tips on distributing items after divorce

Items from the past

  • Sometimes, it can be difficult to figure out who an item belongs to within a shared home. Often, most of the things were purchased with joint accounts and legally belong to both partners. However, there are usually pieces that were brought into the marriage by one of the spouses.
  • There may be instances where you want to keep these items for yourself, especially if your partner brought in something like a large TV and you have none, but these things are not worth the fight. There may also be a sentimental attachment to some nick-nacks.
  • It's always better to allow the partner who brought an item into the house to keep it.

Who uses the item more?

  • Another fair way to decide who gets to keep an item is to see who uses it more frequently. Did you buy a juicer as a couple, but only one person uses it?
  • It may be tempting to want to keep an item purely out of spite, but remember, your spouse could pull the same trick on you.
  • It's best to make a list of co-owned items and discuss who will get more use out of each thing and that way you can bargain to keep another piece in its place.

Was the item a gift?

  • Legally, as well as morally, if the item in question was given as a gift to the other partner, it's theirs to keep. Again, anger and feelings may get in the way as many people request gifts to be returned, but this is not the way to have a stress-free divorce.
  • Instead, remember that you gave the item at a time when you wanted your spouse to have it. The wisest thing is to avoid fighting over gifts.

Dealing with larger items

  • Of course, this list only pertains to small, personal household items. For larger items such as cars, homes, real estate and more, it's important to speak to your respective lawyers before signing anything over. When considering household items, it's often best to keep the decisions to yourself, without animosity.
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