Personal property, meaning furniture, art, family photos, pets, and other general property, in a divorce is treated no differently than the division of other assets. A dollar value figure is placed on the property and the allocation of property is dealt with as part of the general division of assets and debts. For example, if all of the personal property is worth $20,000 and one party takes all of it, they would owe the other party $10,000 as either a cash payment or out of the division of some other asset or by taking on a similar amount of debt.
Try to agree on the division
Parties can spend huge amounts of money litigating personal property division. The better way to deal with the division is for the parties to agree on who takes what piece of furniture/artwork/dishes/etc... and not assign a dollar figure to anything.
What about family photos?
Family photos are generally given to one party with the other party having an option to make copies. If parties are separated often each will have some of the family photos. In some instances there are important sentimental originals that each party wants. Courts do not like to get into these disputes as there is no way to assign a financial value to those original photos. All of this is obviously easier if a family uses digital photo mediums.
What if there is a dispute?
If there is a clear dispute over which property each party wants, the easiest method is to have the personal property appraised. The appraiser will make a list of all property and assign dollar values to each piece and then the judge can make a determination of how it is divided.
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