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How do we divide our stuff?

How do we divide our 'stuff'?

Thursday 30th of July 2020
By: Alisha Edwards, Senior Associate, Coote Family Lawyers

I very much appreciate the professional, efficient yet highly empathetic approach of yourself, Gillian and all your colleagues

We have separated but how do we divide our stuff?

Sometimes, the most difficult aspect of a property settlement is not division of the house, cars and superannuation but all the other “stuff”, such as furniture, kitchenware and items with sentimental value.

Generally, Courts are reluctant to enter into debates about the division of household items and personal possessions. The cost of involving lawyers in arguments about matters such as these can quickly outweigh the cost of the items being argued about.

There are a couple of ways that parties commonly divide household furniture and other items:

  1. Create two lists of roughly equal value and each party retain the items on one list; or
  2. Engage in a ‘pick-for-pick’ where you take turns nominating one item each that you wish to retain until everything has been divided.

It is important to remember that if you go to Court, the value which will be ascribed to household items and furniture will be the second-hand value, rather than the insured or replacement value. It is sometimes helpful to sit back and ask yourself, “what would I get if I put this on Gumtree, eBay or Facebook Marketplace?” – the answer is often, not much!

With respect to items of sentimental value or original documents, you should always ensure that if you are moving out of your home, you take these items with you before you go. If your relationship deteriorates after separation, it can be difficult to get these items back once you have left.

At Coote Family Lawyers, our solicitors can advise and assist you with all aspects of your property division, big or small. Please telephone our team of top family lawyers in Melbourne on 03 9804 0035 should you require specialist family law advice.


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