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Marital Property: Dividing up Household Items for Divorce

When most people picture a divorcing couple dividing up marital property, they usually think of the big items, such as homes and vehicles. However, the statement that “The little things count,” also works here. Think of how many smaller items that are floating around the household. The future of every piece, including those in the junk drawer, needs to be decided between both of you during a divorce.

Determining Value

Start immediately with the process of determining a value for the items in your home. Product evaluation can be a lengthy process, as can be the dissolution of marriage in general. The longer the duration of the process is drawn out, the more time animosity and tension has to build, resulting in a battle over replaceable household articles, such as a spoon or a lamp. Therefore, the earlier you start this process, the better likelihood there is to have an amicable experience.

Upon entering the Judgement of Dissolution of Marriage, there has to be an evaluation of everything that makes up a household. The financial aspect is usually as easy as printing out bank statements. Appraisal of the home, vehicles, as well as any high-end collector items, is advised. Remember that these evaluations are not always the price we would put on them; these are strictly the fair market value of the piece. Appraisals take into consideration any defects and depreciation and ignore any emotional attachment or the original cost of the item.

How to Split the Small Stuff

Judges do not enjoy property division cases over couches, lamps, and other smaller household items. Instead of making the decision themselves, they employ other methods of distribution, many not to the liking of the divorcing couple. Also, the cost of hiring an appraiser does not make financial sense as the cost often outweighs the value of smaller items. Methods that have worked in the past include:

  • Go to mediation to sort out the ownership of the smaller items,
  • Donate the items and divide the tax deduction,
  • Invite children and other family members to choose some items, or
  • Have a garage sale or private auction and split the amount made equally.

Divorce is an emotional and stressful process, often clouding judgment. Retaining the advice of legal counsel helps to alleviate these emotions while assisting in understanding the available options. If you are interested in speaking with a Wheaton, IL divorce attorney, contact Keller Legal Services, P.C. today at 630-868-3093 to take advantage of our complimentary initial consultation.

Source:

http://www.ilga.gov/legislation/ilcs/ilcs4.asp?ActID=2086&ChapterID=59&SeqStart=6000000&SeqEnd=8300000