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Dividing Household Furnishings

mchenry divorce attorneys Relaxed couple sitting on sofa after a fightThe standard of value used for dividing most marital assets does not work as intended when dividing household items. This is because the market value of these items does not accurately represent their true value.

Fair Market Value Does Not Apply

In other words, the cost of replacing household items such as kitchen utensils will far exceed the fair market value of the items. For example, a used coffee maker may fetch around $5 on the market, but may cost as much as $30 to replace. This difference between market value and replacement cost can cause arguments over these kinds of assets, say McHenry divorce attorneys.

Another good illustration is a dining room table. Make the assumption that a replacement table will cost $1,500. However, the market value of the dining room table in the marital home is approximately $100. If one spouse takes the table, the other could argue that the table will have to be replaced. To obtain enough financial assets to make the replacement, the spouse will want the table valued at $1,500.

The spouse with the table may counter-argue that the replacement value should reflect the cost of purchasing a used table and not the cost of a brand new table. This kind of argument can become a significant conflict during settlement negotiations or mediation.

Obstacles to Valuation of Household Goods

If the couple wants to stick with the economic standard of value for their household goods, it is possible for them to value their household goods. For example, they could research the value of all of their household items using internet auction sites and second-hand stores. Alternatively, they could hire an independent authority to appraise their household items. However, each of these approaches are time-consuming. An expert appraiser’s fees may also be out of proportion to the value of the items themselves.

Creative Solutions

Perhaps the best approach for dividing household goods is to avoid the issue of market value and instead divide the items by utility. For instance, one person can take the linens from the guest room, while the other takes the linens from the master bedroom. One spouse can claim the dishes reserved for special occasions and the other takes the everyday dishes. Dividing household goods by utility rather than value can be an efficient way to resolve the issue, according to McHenry divorce attorneys

Working with McHenry Divorce Attorneys

If you would like to speak with a lawyer about your pending divorce, please call the office of the Stetler Law Group at (815) 529-4554.