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What is the law in regards to division of assets ie household items?

Orange, CA |

It may seem petty to ask for dishes,silverware microwave ect. I see it as a necessary need to get on my feet again without added cost

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Attorney answers 3

Best Answer

This is a common challenge that many divorcing couples experience. If you are looking to the law for an answer, you will find that anything acquired during marriage, that is not separate property (inheritance, gift, for example), must be divided 50/50. When valuing these items, the courts consider "garage sale" value, not what you originally paid for the item.

Most spouses will simply agree between themselves, divide between themselves, and replace what needs to be replaced. Some spouses are much more detailed, and will include linens, table ware, etc. If it's not in the divorce decree, the court cannot enforce it. BUT, the courts really do not have the time or the patience to listen to the two of you argue over napkin rings. In short, the best thing you can do is resolve this with your spouse. For those items you need to replace, thrift shops, garage sales, and discount stores are a far less contentious and far less expensive alternative to battling with your spouse through the courts - it's just not worth it. I am not making light of your situation. I have seen court "slam" spouses for taking up court time for these kinds of issues. It will cause you more stress than you need.

Since the information provided in your question is very limited and I have not had an opportunity to review all relevant facts, information, and documents, you should not rely on any specific responses to your questions. The information offered here is general in nature given that the slightest bit of additional information could change a specific answer (i.e. we separated 1 year ago and he has been paying all my expenses. Q: Do I owe him that money back? A: Yes. But what if he used money from a community asset, like a retirement account, to pay it back. A: maybe some or maybe none). In short, consult an attorney to review all relevant information so s/he can properly and accurately advise you. This free service IS NOT a substitute for legal advice and should not be considered legal advice at all.


All property, real or personal acquired during the marriage must be divided equitably. On personal property, there are easy ways to divide them without court intervention.


If you are able to negotiate, you can work out any agreement you both agree to outside of court either on your own or with the help of a mediator. To read more about mediation and the difference between community and separate property, please see the links below. Best of luck.

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