Dividing stuff can be emotional. Fortunately couples no longer have to fight over the photographs. Old slides can be converted to CDs. Photos can be scanned into computers at home and then burned on to CDs. And, for an increasing number of couples, all photos are on the computer, so scanning is not even required.
Pots and Pans. This is jargon for the little stuff. In my experience, the attorneys do not want to get involved in dividing the pots and pans. They would prefer the clients quietly agree together on how to divide the small stuff and simply tell their attorneys it is done. Some people may think attorneys are just interested in racking up billable hours, but I have never met an attorney who wanted to put in billable hours on dividing the stuff.
Furniture. This can be a sticky area when one spouse has moved out or plans to move out and buy all new furniture. First off, the spouse who is staying in the marital home may wish to get rid of some of the old furniture and wants the departing spouse to take some of it away. While the departing spouse wants to buy all new furniture and does not want to be bothered with hauling away old furniture. The sticky part comes when the non-moving spouse resents the departing spouse’s new furniture acquisitions. Adding insult to injury is when the departing spouse wants to include the replacement cost of the old furniture in his/her spouse’s column of the inventory or property division. Doing this results in more assets in his/her spouse’s column and thus, opportunity for more cash or other asset to be dropped into the departing spouse’s column. In collaborative cases, this situation is talked through and, in my experience, a mutually agreeable solution is always reached.
Collections. Some collections are emotionally valued but monetarily worthless. I feel this issue should be dealt with in a tactful manner. Let’s not insult anyone’s taste. However, if one spouse insists on assessing a high value to a collection of – for example – baseball cards, then it would be prudent to get a real appraisal of that collection. Now you are talking about spending money. Appraisals for personal property can be costly. One way to get around this is to check values on websites such as eBay. Be sure to print a copy of the eBay page to support the estimated value.