Karen Ann Ulmer, P.C.
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Dividing Personal Property in Divorce

Personal Property in a divorce includes the tangible items that you own, such as the furniture, the houseware, the televisions, the paintings, and other items in your home. When parties separate, one of the parties normally leaves the home and takes items with them. What is taken can often lead to a dispute. It is important to keep things in perspective. The court will normally assign garage sale value to the items which means you are not likely to get a huge credit if you walk away from the entire contents of the home. Some parties unrealistically expect a credit of $ 20,000 for all the contents of the home since they left with very little. This is not likely to happen. What the Court normally does is have the parties list out the items in dispute and if you cannot agree alternate on picking items from the list. If you do have valuables that have a higher value, such as artwork or guns, these things can be separated if you have an appraisal. You should have your certified appraisal before you go to court in order to obtain the highest value for this item. While you may be attached to certain items of sentimental value, it is important to weigh the cost of the item against the cost of fighting over the item. Most personal property issues resolve by agreement. When they do not, most get sent to arbitration to resolve unless the items are appraised. When you leave the house, it is best to take the items that you want to have when the divorce is finalized as it can often take years before these issues will even get heard by the Court. 

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