How to Handle Personal Property Division

Folks often ask me, “Why all the bother about personal property?” After all, it’s all our stuff and we got it all divided up as we wish. Why does the judge or referee care what I do with my stuff? The answer is simple. The judge is concerned about fairness. That’s why I have folks put an approximate value on the larger items such as TVs, power tools, computers, collections etc. That is the only way the judge or referee can know if the parties have divided their goods and their value approximately equally. If they’re not divided approximately 50/50 in total value, the judge may ask, “Why?” If the couple has a suitable answer and both agree (such as, “I want to make the home more suitable for the kids and my partner agrees.” or my partner spent hours researching things to make a purchase, and it should be his profit.”) then the explanation for the “deviation” is added into the record in case it ever comes back into court if one or the other argues about property division.