During your initial divorce paperwork, it is required that each party file a Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure, or PDD. This document lists all assets owned either separately or jointly by the parties and the approximate value of each item.
Previously we've discussed using specialized evaluators in determining the correct value for larger assets, but unless you own art or antiques, this is probably unnecessary for household furnishings. Instead, common practice is to estimate "garage sale values" for the furnishings, or what you could easily sell them for. Usually these values won't really be used as part of the equalization process (i.e. you get $500 worth of furniture and I get $500 worth of furniture) but instead each party makes a list of the items he or she would like to keep and any overlap is negotiated. This process is especially helpful when experienced attorneys are involved to help keep the process moving along.
Occasionally there will be items of greater value which will need to be properly valued and distributed. These items will be handled in much the same way we handled other large assets such as real property and retirement accounts.
While items purchased for the family residence are generally considered community property, there may be other items that fall under the separate property category - family heirlooms for example. Any evidence to support any separate property claims should be provided at the time the Preliminary Declaration of Disclosure (PDD) is served.
Take away the headache of dividing up your household belongings and contact Richard Ross Associates today. Our qualified attorneys will guide you every step of the way and help make the process as easy as possible.