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Franklin Divorce Attorney > Blog > Divorce > How to Handle Sentimental Items in Your Divorce

How to Handle Sentimental Items in Your Divorce


In divorce cases, there is a lot to plan for and think about. You are, after all, setting yourself up with a springboard into the next chapter of your life. While it is necessary to focus on financial stability as you go through the process of dividing assets and debts as part of your divorce: do not forget that pure financial gain or loss should not be your sole focus.

For many couples, the marriage is built up around several items or assets that may not have a high dollar value to some, but to you, or to your partner, they mean a great deal. Many a divorce case has gone off the rails because partners have struggled with how to divide or allocate sentimental items in the course of their divorce. This article aims to help you understand how to handle this tricky topic.

  • Have a Plan

Handling important issues off-the-cuff rarely brings you the best results. When it comes to dividing estate assets it is enormously beneficial to work with an experienced attorney and go in with a strategic plan. Having a strong and well-thought-out negotiation strategy can make the task of dividing assets significantly easier.

Keeping some of these tips in mind is a great starting point to setting yourself up for success:

  1. Make a list of the sentimental assets that you know you want, and the sentimental assets you believe your spouse will fight for. Understanding the various items that are in play will help you see the big picture of what you can expect, identify items that are very important to you, and see which items you might be ok with using as bargaining pieces.
  2. Brainstorm potential ways for you and your ex to share any very important, sentimental items. For example, if you have family pictures that are very important to both of you – rather than fighting over them, one spouse can receive copies. Or, perhaps you both elect to gift a sentimental item to your shared child. That way the item stays in the family and could remain accessible to both parents.
  3. Co-ownership might be a viable option, depending on the spouses going through the divorce. Though this option is not advisable for spouses with a contentious split, or if you anticipate that contentions will arise in the future as both parties move forward in life.
  • Remember the Cupcake Metaphor

In divorce, it can be easy to hyper-focus on something that you feel you need, desperately. In some circumstances, it can be helpful to think of splitting assets in the frame of two people trying to split a cupcake. If you try to think of splitting the cake straight down the middle, either side might be hyper-watchful and reactive to every detail. Both sides may end up arguing over whether one side got more crumbs, or a couple of drops of frosting more.

But what would happen if both sides spoke, and realized that one party really just wanted the cake – and one party wanted the frosting? Splitting the cupcake “equally” suddenly becomes much easier and more satisfying for both parties. This is the benefit that can come from both sides endeavoring to understand the needs and desires of the other side. It can ultimately help YOU get more of what you want as well.

Contact Fort, Holloway & Rogers

It is always imperative to ensure that you come out of a divorce with the financial means necessary to lead you securely into your next chapter. But sentimental items often play a key role in divorce proceedings as well. The elite team of Franklin property division lawyers at Fort, Holloway & Rogers can help you devise a strong strategy as you move forward in your own divorce case. Contact our office today to see how we can get to work for you.



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