Division of personal property is one of the most stressful and challenging parts of a divorce. Every couple must make tough decisions on how they are going to split their belongings up so that it is fair to both sides. That's why it will help to know some tips about property division before you enter divorce mediation.
Know The State Laws
You'll want to start by getting familiar with the laws in your state regarding personal property. There are states that have communal property laws, which state that everything that belongs to a couple must be divided in an equal manner. This includes assets like a home, vehicles, retirement accounts, bank accounts, and debt.
For example, you could end up in situations where one person drives a really expensive car while the other person drives a cheap car, and a decision needs to be reached where the value of both cars is split equally in some way. You may have to sell both vehicles and use the cash from the sale to purchase new ones or compromise in some way by allowing the person with the less expensive vehicle to have more in another area of the property division.
Consider The Emotional Value of Assets
Sometimes the value of an item is not an exact dollar amount based on what it is worth. There can be emotional value of assets that makes someone overly attached to them. The other spouse in this situation can use the emotional value of an asset to their advantage, which can be done by using it as leverage for other high-value items.
This may be done in situations where pets are involved. You can't put a dollar amount on the happiness that a pet can provide you, and people are often willing to give up a lot in order to be the one to keep a pet during a divorce. Of course, you must also realize that if a decision cannot be reached then a judge may make the decision for you, and they will come up with more practical reasons as to who gets to keep a pet.
Prepare To Negotiate
It's important to keep an open mind when it comes to asset division, so be prepared to negotiate during mediation. These are tough decisions that have to be made, and you are not going to get everything exactly how you want it to be. Have that mindset going into mediation so that you are not disappointed with the outcome.
For more information, contact a local divorce attorney.