As part of your divorce, you and your spouse will need to divide the marital estate. Your Union County divorce attorney can explain how this process works with each type of asset. Household furnishings may comprise a significant proportion of your marital belongings.
There are two competing theories on the value of such items as furniture, kitchen goods, linens and other decorations. One theory is that these goods lose their value quickly after they are opened. They retain very little of their purchase value, as observed by anyone who visits a yard sale or thrift store. The second theory is that these goods are necessary to live and replacing them with new items is expensive. The spouse who is keeping the item may try to have apportioned a smaller monetary value to the item. However, the other spouse may try to use the replacement value of the item because this is usually significantly more. The economic standard that is traditionally applied to household goods is the fair market value. However, a Union County family lawyer may recommend using an alternative valuation system.
One alternative way to value such goods is to determine the utility value of each good. This may mean splitting items so that each person walks away with enough items to have a functioning household. This method allows each person to walk away from the marriage with at least some of the items that they will need in their next stage of life.
A judge does not have to decide the value of every item that the couple owns. The parties can agree to the value of their goods to reduce the cost of litigation. This may involve researching the second-hand value of the items or having an independent appraisal of the items.
If you would like more information on how household furnishings are divided in divorce proceedings, contact a Union County divorce attorney from Khan Law Offices.