Who Gets the Couch? – Personal Property in Divorce
Texas is a community property state and results in a fairly even split of houses, cars, bank accounts and retirement funds. Dividing the household goods is another story. Who gets the lawnmower, the dishes, beds, patio furniture, or the sterling silver tea set?
How do you put a value on the thousand dollar couch you bought a few weeks ago that has substantially depreciated? Who gets the couch? What about the artwork you have collected over the years? Your spouse has never shown an interest in artwork before but now wants to fight you for it in the divorce just to spite you. When it comes to household goods, the goal is for them to be divided fairly and rarely will that mean a 50/50 split. It is impossible to divide the personal property 50/50 because everyone will place a different (numerical & sentimental) value on the item(s).
Agree to Split Personal Property With Your Spouse
Some couples can walk through the house together and informally agree as to who gets what. Start by making a list of every item with several columns: one for the items estimated monetary value, another for a note about its emotional value if relevant, one column marked husband and one marked wife. Fill out the chart for every item.
If you cannot agree on the worth of an item or who gets it, hire an appraiser to put a monetary value on each item in controversy. With the assistance of your attorneys, the two of you may find it easier to negotiate the division when you can see the actual value written on a piece of paper. If you still cannot agree, the court will use the appraised value of the items as a guide in dividing the household goods.
If you have high-valued personal property and you are going through a divorce, be sure to contact an experienced family attorney to help guide you through the process.