How do my spouse and I divide our personal property in a divorce?

I suggest clients make a list of the personal property, household goods, and furnishings they, as a couple, own as a starting point.  Some couples are able to sit down together to make that joint list.  Working together a couple can walk through their house, garage, vacation property, or business to create a list of things that are valuable and important.  At that time each is able to receive their important items.  They are able to set a deadline or time frame in which they will each remove the property to use in their new home or business or place it in a storage unit.
Complications may arise when someone wants the dining room set inherited or received as a gift from a family member.
Some couples are not able to work together to create a joint list for a variety of reasons. This is where things can become difficult.  Sometimes they need to go to mediation to get this job done.  Other times the parties need to work with and through their respective attorney to put together the list, to agree to the value of each item as well as to negotiate how all the personal property, household goods, and furnishings will be divided in a divorce.
The worst-case scenario is having a judge decide how all their valuables and personal property shall be divided.  The judge will order what he or she believes is a fair and equitable division.  Most likely neither spouse is going to be happy with what the judge orders.  It could be that the judge orders each party to bid on the property he or she wants in the divorce.  The highest bidder wins.
There are other methods available for the couple to use to divide the personal property, household goods and furnishings.  Speaking with an experienced family law attorney about the most efficient options available is in your best interest in order to reduce the time and expense of dividing years’ worth of memories and hard work.
Contact experienced family law attorney Jessica L. Sterle at (218) 722-2655 to schedule a consultation to discuss the divorce process.

Jessica Sterle

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