One of the most challenging aspects of divorce can be the division of personal property. Often times the parties are able to work together to divide their personal property. The challenge begins when parties are unable to come to an agreement regarding the division of their property.
At Schmitt Law, PLLC, we educate clients that personal property disputes can be costly; exceeding the value of the actual personal property is dispute. We strongly suggest that clients look at the cost-benefit analysis of their dispute: what is the value of the property in dispute (how much would it cost to replace the item) versus the attorney’s fees associated with addressing the issue either with the other attorney or in court.
When it is clear that parties have reached an impasse as to the division of their personal property, at Schmitt Law, PLLC, we suggest to clients that they work with their spouse to create two lists. The first list will be the undisputed personal property – property that the parties have agreed to the division. The second list will identify the items that the parties are unable to agree as to the division. Often times, when parties go through the process of creating these lists, they find the value in making compromises.
At Schmitt Law, PLLC, we share with clients that judges do not favor personal property disputes being brought before the court. The courts are overwhelmed with cases and cannot realistically spend the time on cases addressing personal property disputes. Parties who are unwilling to divide their own personal property may find that leaving the division of their personal property to the court may lead to both parties being very dissatisfied with the result.
Before you rush off to litigate a personal property dispute consider the following:
- How much is the specific item worth?
- How much would it be to purchase that item new?
- How much will my attorney charge me per hour to address this personal property dispute with the other attorney or in court?
- Can I compromise and let my spouse retain the item?
- Does this item involved have sentimental value to one party?
- Am I really fighting over this item out of spite?
- Will the judge believe this is a petty dispute?
In summary, parties must find a way through private agreement, through mediation, or with assistance of their attorneys to divide their personal property.
GRAND RAPIDS COLLABORATIVE DIVORCE ATTORNEY SERVING KENT, OTTAWA, AND ALLEGAN COUNTY.
We understand that filing for divorce can be an emotional and confusing experience. That’s why we are committed to providing personalized service to each client we represent and will be with you through this difficult journey. At Schmitt Law, PLLC we encourage clients to take a more collaborative approach to divorce that promotes positive communication and cooperation. Through mediation or the collaborative divorce process, Laurie guides her clients through amicable divorce settlements so they can move forward with their life. To discuss your circumstances and legal options, contact Schmitt Law, PLLC at (616) 608-4634 to schedule a consultation. Or, contact us online to arrange a consultation.