Travers & Travers

How to decide what to let go during property division

While some property division choices will be very clear to you, you and your ex-spouse are likely to share value in some of the same things. This is when property division can become particularly difficult to navigate. When is it wise to lament and which items should you fight for?

Here are a few questions to ask yourself that can help you determine whether or not you should let go during property division.

Do you have a strong emotional connection to it?

The key to determining how strong your emotional connection is to something is to put your feelings on a scale. For many people, the property that they are most emotionally connected to are the pets they shared with their ex-spouse or their home. Property you are least emotionally invested in tends to be low-value items.

Ranking how strongly you feel about your property can help you determine which items are your top concerns.

Are you realistically able to keep it?

Next, you’ll need to determine whether it’s feasible to keep the items that are most important to you. To do this, consider the cost and/or responsibilities associated with the item.

For example, despite feeling a strong emotional connection to your home, it may not be within your means to continue to pay the mortgage and other bills for it. Similarly, if a pet is very important to you, you should consider whether you are able to provide for the pet’s needs. Without your spouse, it may be more difficult to make sure the animal is getting fed, watered, walked, groomed, shots, etc.

Is it necessary for your day-to-day?

Two common day-to-day necessities for many people are a vehicle to drive and a place to live. Yet, it’s common for people who divorce to forsake these things.

Remember that assets can be liquidated to help you repurchase things that you need in your daily life.

Is it fair?

Property division usually feels unfair for both parties in some way. However, by law, the two of you must conduct and equitable split of shared property.

To get an idea of whether your requests are fair, try and think over how the other person would answer the previous three questions. Remember to disregard your own opinions on how they might answer them.

For many, seeing things from the other person’s perspective is difficult. This is where mediation can come in handy. A non-bias, third-party mediator can propose a fair deal when each of you has trouble letting go of something that is equally important to both of you.

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