The division of personal property (furniture, collections, artwork, etc.) as a result of a divorce is an issue that many times is discussed last. Most parties (and some practitioners) assume that the parties should be able to divide their personal property on their own or have done so by virtue of their separation. But many divorcing parties find the process difficult and require some guidance. Questions frequently arise.
For example, what happens to joint gifts received by the parties? What if one party to the marriage inherited a family heirloom but then gifted it to the other spouse? What happens to gifts exchanged between the parties during the marriage? Or to premarital property which is repaired, maintained or insured during the marriage? What if one party purchased an antique car prior to the marriage, but then restores and insures it during the marriage? These are questions which have legal implications and clearly affect the division of personal property.
On a practical level, parties are sometimes just simply overwhelmed with the process of dividing the possessions they have acquired during a long marriage. They do not know how to handle the division of collections, artwork, or other items of personal property which normally are part of a group (for example, movie or music collections, paintings which are part of a series). An experienced family law attorney can represent your interests, provide you with guidelines to follow when considering the division of personal property and guide you through the process.