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How to divide household items in a divorce

Despite a decline in recent years, divorce continues to be a prevalent part of society. In 2017, over 25,000 divorces took place in the state of Washington compared to roughly 46,000 marriages. 

These divorces range from relatively simple to complex. Every couple is different, and some have to determine how to divide the family household as well as child custody. However, the couple needs to reach conclusions for smaller issues. For instance, the couple has to look at all the small household items they possess and decide who gets what. 

Keep private possessions

Naturally, each spouse retains items used exclusively. This includes clothing, family heirlooms and personal gifts. These types of items rarely come up in divorces. The real issue comes with shared items, such as cooking utensils, tools and furniture. You may use these items equally, and you both need to decide who gets what, especially if you plan on selling the house and will both move to different areas. 

Determine value

As you look at the shared property, you need to figure out what the value of each item is. This ensures a fair and equitable division of assets. For example, if one spouse gets the expensive couch, then the other spouse may retain more of the kitchen supplies. Once you know the value of everything, you can try sitting down with your spouse to determine who gets what so you do not have to hash it out in court. 

Negotiate thoroughly

Many divorces end up spanning years because the couple had a hard time agreeing on various items. You can save yourself a lot of time, hassle and money by figuring out the little stuff on your own. If you can determine who gets what household items without a judge, then you can simply present that agreement to a judge who can sign off on it.

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