When you separate or divorce, who gets to keep the slow cooker? How about the reclining chair? What about the family pet?
These things aren’t often discussed openly, but dividing property and personal belongings can sometimes be the most volatile aspect of a relationship breakdown.
So, how do you actually go about dividing your personal bits and pieces? – Those things you bought one another, and the items you accrued as a couple over time. While the first choice will often be for you and your former partner to reach an agreement about who takes what, if you are unable to reach an agreement there are a few options that are used in these circumstances. These are; pick a pile, divide by value and as a last option, sale.
Pick a Pile
One common method is known as ‘pick a pile’. In this method, one party makes two lists of all of their household items and then the other party will pick the list they wish to retain and then discuss any items of disagreement. In most circumstances, if the parties cannot agree on who retains a specific item it will then be sold and the proceeds divided between the parties.
Divide by Value
Another method involves cataloging the entirety of each person’s belongings and then each ascribing a value to each item, before reaching an agreed value.
When valuing an item in family law proceedings it is not the value that the item has been insured for but rather what value the item has if it were sold in its present condition, being its second hand value.
Parties then select which items they do and do not want to take with them. Any items that one party takes may then be ‘offset’ by a payment of an amount equivalent to the value of those items.
Russell Crowe has done things differently.
On 7 April 2018, Sotheby’s Australia will host an auction of 227 of Russell Crow’s items; the auction is titled ‘Russell Crowe: The Art of Divorce’. The 7th of April is Russell Crow’s birthday and also happens to be his 15th wedding anniversary…
If you’re interested in snagging your very own piece of Russell Crowe memorabilia, the details of the auction, and pre-auction exhibition are listed below:
In Family Law, when couples cannot agree on the value of items, or who gets to retain what, the items of contention may also be sold in much the same way as Crowe’s auction. The proceeds of sale may then be apportioned to each party.
In most circumstances however, the Court is very reluctant to get involved in how personal property such as furniture and household items are to be divided. The Court may get involved if there is a particular piece that was the subject of a gift or inheritance and the circumstances dictate it really ought to go to a particular party but generally speaking it will be up to the parties to decide how they divide their personal belongings. If it is not possible for an agreement to be reached, as a final option the Court can order for those items to be sold.
If you have items of value you’d like to retain in your separation, or if you think that you’ll have a gladiator of an argument on your hands about your household items – then give the Spartans at FGD a call.