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What are ways to negotiate property division?

On Behalf of | Sep 18, 2020 | Property Division

You may have some personal possessions that you do not want to part with, and yet your upcoming divorce makes it possible or even likely that you will have to sell them off to split the value between yourself and your spouse. Still, it is possible to work out an arrangement with your spouse to keep certain items if you know their value.

Not all divorces happen in an amicable fashion, so negotiating with your spouse might prove a challenge. Nonetheless, as the Motley Fool explains, you and your spouse are bound to prefer certain possessions over others. This may give you an opportunity to “trade” some items of equal value for those you want to keep.

Appraising your items

An important step, especially if you own highly valued property, is to hire an appraiser. Make sure that both you and your spouse accept the appraiser as a professional and impartial party, as you do not want to dispute the values later on and drag out your divorce. If hiring an appraiser is not practical, consider working out a method for valuing items that your spouse will accept.

Negotiating for possessions

Once you understand the value of your property, you are ready to try to negotiate for the possessions you want to hold on to. You may have a preference for your living room sofa and chairs while your spouse wants the kitchenware. If both sets of items are nearly equal in value, you might try to swap the kitchen items for the living room furniture. Similarly, if you want to keep a set of small appliances, you might ask your spouse to take a larger appliance worth as much as the smaller appliances put together.

This same principle of negotiating may work for your highly priced collectibles and artwork. For example, you and your spouse may own multiple paintings, but you may have an affinity for one painting while your spouse prefers another. If the paintings are about equal in value, you and your spouse might choose to keep the artwork that each of you prefer and call it even.

Paying your spouse for the value

If you cannot swap items of like value with your spouse, you may have to sell some possessions to divide the value. Still, if you really want to keep an item like a painting or a car, you might instead offer to pay your spouse for his or her share of the item. For example, if you and your spouse own a painting worth $8,000, you may need to pay your spouse $4,000 so that you can own it.