Dividing assets in a divorce is a complex process, even when it comes to lower-value property. In fact, managing the division of items like household contents can be overwhelming because there may simply be a lot of it.
Knowing what the property-division process looks like can help you prepare and get organized to make it easier.
Consider the contents of your home, cabin, garage and storage units. These will all need to go somewhere when you divorce. Start by taking inventory. Make a list of items, including:
- Books and movies
- Devices like computers, TVs and tablets
- Personal effects
It may be a lot to list, but it can be helpful to use forms like this one, which was designed for insurance purposes. Organize items by room and include estimated values.
Agree on what you can divide
When you have an inventory of property, discuss a voluntary division of items. You and your ex might agree on how to divide much more than you expect if only one person wants something, or if it is clear who should have a particular item. You can also decide to flip a coin when you both want to keep something.
Keep track of who keeps what, as well as the estimated value of everything, in case a question of fairness arises later in the property division process.
Categorize the rest to sell, throw or donate
After you separate out your personal effects and the items you divided voluntarily, look at the items neither of you wants to keep. You can then categorize them by what you can sell, donate, or throw away.
- For items you are selling, decide where you will sell them. Will you hold a garage sale or use sites like Facebook Marketplace? How will the proceeds be divided?
- For items you are donating, decide whether one or both of you will physically separate these items and arrange the donation.
- For items you plan to throw away, consider whether you might need to rent a dumpster or bring items to specific disposal sites. If the former, who will cover the rental fee?
Approaching the division of household items and personal property in this manner can help you stay organized and hopefully keep you from getting overwhelmed.