Allocating Household Furnishings In a Divorce

Richmond divorce mediation attorneyWith divorce comes the necessity to divide assets and belongings between divorcing spouses. Rather than trying to assess the value of each household item to divide the amount evenly, you may want to simply distribute these pieces according to their function.

Economic Standard
The economic standard relevant to valuation is fair market value. If the divorcing parties do not observe this standard, the divorce settlement can easily fall through. 

Valuation
It is difficult to place a dollar value on household goods. Generally, the fair market value at the time of divorce will not come close to the original cost. Your lawyer will explain that these items’ values relative to your life will not be accurately represented by their fair market value. In fact, if you were to sell an item to share the earnings evenly, it would probably cost much more to replace that item.

Conflict
Conflict arises when one party keeps an item with a low fair market value and the other party expects to be reimbursed for their share of the replacement value. Ideally, steer clear of these conflicts by seeking an alternative to appraising the items.

Resolution
One way to resolve the conflict is to move away from the fair market value standard and attempt to come to an agreement as to each item’s value. This may be achieved by researching the values online or having the items appraised by an impartial professional. While this may seem like a viable solution, it will not be a quick or cheap one.

Or an even simpler resolution: divide up the items by their utility. That is, if you have two sets of linens each of you can take one. The same goes for if you have a casual dining table and a more formal one, or several televisions, and so on. If you can decide who should get what, you can be free of the time and money it would cost to complete valuation.

Attorney Assistance
Even if your divorce is going through mediation rather than the traditional legal avenues, issues will certainly arise between you and your ex. Finding a divorce attorney with knowledge of both divorce law and mediation is essential. Contact our attorneys at Smith Strong for assistance today at 804-325-1245 (Richmond) or 757-941-4298 (Williamsburg).