There are many decisions that need to be made during a diyvorce. You need to think about what to do with the marital residence, whether you need to request spousal maintenance, and what custody arrangement would be best for your children. Dividing your personal property also plays an important role. Personal property is basically anything that is not real estate. Especially for parties who have been married a long time, it is possible that they have significant amounts of personal property to be divided.

The goal with a diyvorce is to make these divisions amicably, but if you’re having difficulty doing that, you can look to the law for guidance. Minnesota is what is referred to as an “equitable distribution” state. This means that if parties are unable to come to an agreement, the court will look at a list of factors in the Minnesota statute to decide what is the best way to allocate the parties’ marital assets and marital debts. This includes dividing personal property. Some items of personal property are highly valuable, such as an art collection or vehicles. For these items, it is important for parties to have an idea of a proper value for the assets so they can divide them fairly.

In addition to valuable items, parties also need to consider how to divide the much more mundane personal property items. Things like towels, pots and pans, furniture, and tools all need to be divided.

While clearly the dollar value of items is an important consideration, emotional attachment to certain items is also an issue that should not be overlooked. Special baby clothes, book collections, or unique jewelry may all fall into this category. If the decision goes to the court, it often looks to who has traditionally been the one to use the item when it decides who should get it in the divorce.

Finally, parties need to have a firm understanding of the difference between separate and marital property, as not all personal property items will be subject to division. This typically comes into play in this context when one spouse has been given or inherited a particular item during the marriage. If you inherited your grandmother’s silver tea service or your husband was gifted his father’s guitar, these items are likely separate property and will not be up for division.

If you have questions about how to divide personal property, contact us for guidance and resources.

Deciding to get a divorce is hard.

And then it seems to just get harder. But it doesn’t have to be that way anymore.

DIYvorce was created by Minnesota divorce attorneys who know that people need a path to their divorce that doesn’t require thousands of dollars and months of fighting. But they also need to know their divorce is done correctly, and that it resolves the couple’s disagreements.

DIYvorce is an easy-to-use path for for couples who are ending their marriage:

You work through a secure online interview to gather information.

You get helpful information about issues to consider as you work out how to legally part.

You have the opportunity to consult with legal professionals along the way. Your questions will be answered and you can be confident about your final divorce and the documents.