Dividing Your Assets and Stuff During Divorce ( a.k.a. The Spoils of War…)
It’s amazing how after years of your Ex hating your antique teapot or baseball card collection, all of a sudden they become the most valuable items in the house when divorce is upon us.
The thought of having to split years of air miles keeps you awake and scheming at night. What was once a family benefit of free trips becomes the slaving, sweat, and tears of the person who earned them accompanied by the scraping noise of digging in heels and preparing to do battle.
Dividing Your Stuff Sucks!
OK maybe a smidge over exaggerated on the earning of miles, but it is the simple things taken for granted that could become heated battles. As lawyers are not free, fees cost you ten times as much as the actual asset.
Battle Lines & Control
It is very hard to think rationally and unemotionally during a divorce. The person you most loved, once loved, or still love is sitting across the negotiating table instead of alongside you. They know all your buttons, passions, and “you” probably better than, well, you.
- So take a breath. At the most irrational time of your life, it is time to be the most rational.
- Time is not your friend. As “we” dig in our heels, the legal bills will keep coming. – Don’t sweat the small stuff.
- Try to look forward and see the future value in comparison to the current cost. – Do you REALLY need it?
- As in all negotiations, it’s important to decide what is actually really important to you and what you can’t live without. – Keep it Simple.
Where to start? Take inventory.
To complete your divorce and as part of your divorce decree, you will have to attach a list of your separated assets that both parties have signed off and agreed to. So either one of you or both will have to create a list and start the process of separation. As a list, you can control what is on it and what is not. But to keep things simple, more is better, as there are no comebacks in the future (So yes, you can include his/her air miles, baseball card collection, and teapot).
While you have access or if you’re still living in the home, create a detailed list of everything in the house. And when I mean everything, I mean everything down to the last spoon and stapler. This is not to be picky–just to stop someone picking a fight in the future.
Personally, this was heart-wrenching to do. Looking at the things you had bought and enjoyed together is a disjointing tear in your relationship memory. So create a thorough list in Excel, and send to your partner for the first round of picks. Put a value next to it if need be.
At the end of the day, either you or the court are going to divide it pretty much down the middle. So if you can give up Grandma’s tea towel for the negotiated collection of baking trays, do it. Try to save thousands in legal fees and both of your dignities by looking forward. You’re probably not going to want to keep your wedding china for your next relationship or your bed linens. Yes, you need a bed to sleep in and plates to eat off, but just keep the long-term picture in mind as you need to start a positive and fresh new chapter.
And you never know, through the process you might find, remember, or create some great memories together and create a workable friendship…
Keep Calm in Turbulent Waters,
Help Us, Help Our Community. If you have been through a divorce we would like to get your input into developing ways we could help with this process. Please take 5 minutes and complete this confidential survey below on how you divided or plan to divide your stuff.