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How Couples Can Divide Physical Items in a Divorce


Splitting up physical items comes down to knowing what you want, being willing to compromise, and preparing yourself for some level of negative emotion.

One of the most contentious points in a divorce comes when couples divide their assets. The reason is that many of these items have a significant amount of sentimental value, and if they’re physical, they cannot literally be split up.

Division of assets in a divorce

What is Equitable Distribution?

The first thing you should understand about divorce in Missouri is that it runs on an equitable distribution system. What this means is that every marital asset will be split as fairly as possible. At the same time, some assets may be exempt from this process because one party individually owns them. Figuring out which of your belongings fit into which category is best discussed with a lawyer. Ultimately, every item that you share with your spouse should be split between you.

Build a Comprehensive List of Assets

Before you start to split up your assets, you must understand them. You can do so by making a comprehensive list. This step should not be brushed aside, as you don’t want to miss anything. Some of the most common of them include homes, other forms of property, cars, pets, collectibles, electronics, and furniture.

Give Them Monetary Value

As you can imagine, none of these assets can be split cleanly. As an example, a car cut down the middle is no use to anyone. What you can do instead is assign monetary values to each item. What this allows you to do is obtain half the cash equivalent of each asset, rather than losing it entirely. One thing to note is that some assets, like a home, will require an expert to appraise them. You cannot estimate the values on your own and move on with the process.

Be Prepared to Compromise

When you begin your negotiations with your ex-spouse, you will likely both have attachments to your items. Very few people want to cash out their half of every asset. Instead, they fight for the ones they think are most important. In the process, you’re going to want something your partner wants, and you’ll have to come to some sort of agreement on how you’ll work that issue out. The most common method is looking at all of the most contentious items and deciding which you care about the most about and which you could do without.

Be Prepared for Some Heartache

One of the most painful things about divorce is losing the items that you love. As we explained above, you’ll have to compromise on certain assets if you want to keep the divorce moving. Unfortunately, doing so can lead to heartache, as you lose things that you are incredibly attached to. Preparing for this disappointment is a great way to beat it once it presents itself.

As with the rest of your divorce, splitting up physical items comes down to knowing what you want, meticulously keeping track of records, being willing to compromise, and preparing yourself for some level of negative emotion. Call The Betz Law Firm today at (314) 801-8488 or fill out our online contact form. We are committed to guiding our clients through the court process with same level of professionalism that we would wish for our own family members. We are aware of the trust our clients place in us with the future of their family and we strive daily to earn it.