Compassionate Counsel
Tough Advocates

The importance of valuing personal property during divorce

On Behalf of | Jul 9, 2024 | Divorce |

Dividing marital property is perhaps the most complex requirement of an average divorce. Not every couple has to handle custody matters related to children, but almost all married couples share some assets and debts.

The more property the spouses accumulate during the marriage, the more difficult it can be to divide those resources when they decide to divorce. Frequently, spouses focus on large assets during divorce negotiations. They worry about what may happen with the marital home or with a business run by one of the spouses.

Personal property may not receive the same consideration that other assets do. However, the personal possessions of each spouse can actually contribute substantially to the overall value of the marital estate.

Personal property can be worth thousands

Both spouses live in and contribute to the house that they share. They may both deposit some of their income into a shared investment account. On the other hand, personal property tends to belong solely to one spouse.

The spouse who acquires a collection of designer wristwatches may spend thousands on each new acquisition. Despite the value of those watches, they may expect to keep them outright when they divorce. Technically, if someone uses marital income to acquire property, those resources belong in the marital estate.

While the other spouse may not want to lay claim to the wristwatch collection, they still have a right to receive a fair portion of its value when they divorce. Therefore, identifying the more valuable resources owned by a spouse and determining the current fair market value of those assets can be crucial to the fair outcome in divorce proceedings.

Especially when someone’s personal property may include high-value items ranging from fine art and jewelry to sports memorabilia, understanding the value of personal property is crucial to someone pursuing a fair property division outcome.

The other spouse can retain their personal holdings so long as they account for their value when dividing other property or marital debts. Those with complex marital estates, especially after a long-term or high-income marriage, may need help with the process of identifying and valuing marital resources.

Learning more about the unique rules for property division can be beneficial for individuals preparing for divorce. Spouses who recognize what they can request from their marital estate are in a strong position to push for appropriate property division terms.


AV Preeminent, Peer Rated for Highest Level of Professional Excellence
Desert Companion | Top Divorce Lawyer