How Fights Over Seemingly Trivial Assets Cause Big Problems in Divorce-And What to Do About It

Towels, rugs, exercise equipment…the most mundane objects lie at the heart of the most contentious divorce battles. Determined to ‘win’ at any cost, ex-spouses destroy their sanity over objects that objectively hold minimal value. As a divorcee, you’re far from immune to this common problem. Read on to learn about how fights over trivial assets could complicate your divorce—and how you can avoid this common pitfall.

Court Costs

Whether you settle your differences through mediation or in court, you can forget a timely resolution if you argue about trivial assets. In divorce, as in life, time is money. Court costs can quickly exceed the value of the items central to your divorce settlement.

Impact on Kids

Whether you complain about divorce proceedings in front of your kids or keep quiet, they’ll pick up on the drama almost immediately. Think carefully about the lessons they’ll learn from the divorce process. If your arguments largely revolve around trivial objects, their takeaway will be that minor objects matter more than people.

Keep younger family members’ needs in mind while dividing difficult items; if children express a clear desire for specific items, allow said objects to remain with the custodial spouse.

How to Avoid the Object-Oriented Trap

Before you enter mediation or court, outline your priorities on paper. Look over this list and think carefully about whether identified items actually benefit you in the long run. For example: you may initially desire a specific piece of valuable furniture, but will it fit in your new apartment? Will it provide any emotional benefit if it consistently reminds you of your difficult divorce?

Highlight several items you’d be willing to give up in exchange for prized assets. Be prepared to compromise. Identify where your priorities differ from those of your ex, and aim for the most mutually-beneficial solution possible.

Many asset-based arguments arise over verbal promises not acted upon in mediation or court. Avoid the temptation to make any promises or statements about physical possessions or assets, even if you enjoy an amicable relationship with your ex. Leave all agreements for supervised settings such as mediation sessions.

Whether the bulk of your divorce-related fighting involves property division or child custody, you can count on DiPietro Law Group for assistance. Contact our divorce lawyers today to schedule a consultation and get on the path to a favorable outcome.

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