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If you’re going through the divorce process, it is a good idea to gather important items sooner rather than later. This specifically applies to items that do not have monetary value and mostly have sentimental value.

What Happens When a Spouse Won’t Surrender Assets?

If a spouse is refusing to turn over items of sentimental value, there may be little you can do about such an occurrence. A judge may order that your spouse hands over the item, but if your spouse claims that they don’t have it, and they don’t know where it went, you may be out of luck. In some cases, a judge may award you the monetary value of the item. But if the item only has sentimental value, there’s not a reliable way of putting a value on the item. Therefore, those who are missing items are usually without recourse. Luckily, there are things you can do to help ensure that your ex doesn’t take your favorite possessions.

Take All Your Possessions with You When You Leave

If you have items of sentimental value, family heirlooms, or personal belongings, it’s a good idea to take those with you before you leave the house for good. Even if your name is on the house, there’s no guarantee that you will still have access to the house. And, in some situations, there’s little that you can do about regaining access to the residence, even if your name is on the mortgage or lease. Items you’ll definitely want to take include all clothing, personal hygiene items, and anything you might want in the event of a divorce, specifically items that are of sentimental value only. When you’re removing valuables, make sure you take any documents pertaining to them, such as certificates of authenticity, or appraisals. If you have a large safe that only you have access to, you may want to store items in the safe.

Document Everything

If there are items that you cannot take with you, document those items. Not only should you have a list of items, you should also have their condition, their value, their location, and recent pictures of each item. This may not guarantee that you’ll get everything back. However, it may be able to help you get some items back. If your ex isn’t trying to prevent you from getting your items back, this list can help them ensure that you’re getting everything you’ve asked for. Furthermore, it can help ensure that the items your ex hands over aren’t damaged.

Get it in Writing

If your ex agrees that you can have the Xbox in exchange for the Wii, make sure you get that in writing. When it comes to smaller assets of little monetary value, in order to protect both of yourselves, it may be a good idea to email a list of things you’re getting and a list of things your ex is getting. This would help prevent your ex from claiming they’ve never heard of such an item and have no idea where it may be. Divorce causes a lot of conflicts to begin with. If you can decide how you’re going to split the little things, that may make for an easier divorce.

Be Cooperative

In most cases, cooperation breeds cooperation. If you’re concerned about getting your stuff back, cooperating with your ex may be the best way to get your stuff back. Before politely asking your ex to return your stuff, make sure you have returned all of their belongings in good condition. This especially applies to items that you wouldn’t be interested in keeping such as their clothes, or items that only carried sentimental value to them. If you’ve been ordered to surrender your ex’s items, make sure that you do so in the time indicated by agreement or the court. If you have concerns about your physical safety, you can have a friend come with you to drop the items off, or you may be able to have a police officer assist you in returning the items.

Know when to Quit

Disagreements over small items that don’t carry a lot of monetary value can be very costly. In some cases, it may be too difficult to continue fighting for items that aren’t worth a lot of money. It’s not uncommon for couples to take out their emotional pain on each other by hoarding items like small kitchen appliances. If your ex is doing this, you may be better off just letting it go. It may cost you more to fight for these items than it would to just go buy new ones.

When You’re Considering Divorce

If you’re considering filing for divorce, contact CoilLaw today to get started with an initial consultation. Even if you don’t plan on hiring an attorney, it’s always a good idea to consult with an attorney regarding your rights. At CoilLaw, our attorneys are dedicated to helping our clients obtain the best outcome possible. If you’re considering divorce, contact CoilLaw today.



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