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Everything But the Kitchen Sink: Dividing Furniture in Divorce Cases

When working through a divorce or separation process, deciding who gets the couch may seem like it should be low on the priority list. However, establishing property rights to objects in and outside of the marital home can be essential to coming up with a divorce or separation agreement that is fair to both parties and promises the smoothest transition from marriage to separation. And of course, your spouse may feel far stronger about that apothecary table than you thought.

So how are things like furniture and physical objects divided in cases of divorce or separation? Methods for doing this actually vary. If you’re preparing to divvy up objects like this between you and a spouse, here are some common solutions for doing so:

Divide It by Yourselves

The ideal method of dividing property, of course, is for the two parties to sit down and have a reasoned, cooperative discussion to do so. Separating spouses first make a list of items owned jointly, attempt to agree on the value of each item, and attempt to negotiate which spouse should receive what item, hopefully encouraging an even and fair distribution of items and of monetary worth. The court will generally support your agreement. Of course, not every separating couple can or will be willing to divide property together as a cooperative activity. If the straightforward path doesn’t seem to be working, try another solution.

Coin Flip Methods

Some couples have successfully used a coin flip to divide property. For instance, two spouses may flip a coin and have the winner divide up the property into two lists. The loser of the coin flip then selects which list he or she would like to take, leaving the remaining one for the list-maker. Alternatively, the winner of the coin flip could assign a monetary amount to each item on the list. The loser then selects the items they want, up to half the total value of all the items.


An additional method of dividing property could be to set up a bidding system. Each spouse bids privately and when the bids are opened, the highest bidder gets the item. After every item has been assigned to a spouse, the spouses conduct an equalizing payment to ensure each person received equal value.

Getting Rid of It

Although it may be a last result, spouses that can’t possibly agree on who gets what items can simply liquidate the property and divide the proceeds.

Getting Help

Working through issues of divorce and separation can be difficult. If you’re involved in a divorce or separation and are considering the equitable distribution of property, the assistance of an attorney can make a vital difference in ensuring that your arrangements properly reflect each party’s rights. If you’re attempting to distribute property or develop a divorce or separation agreement, it may be time to seek out legal advice. Contact an experienced Boca Raton family attorney at Schwartz l White at 561-391-9943 today for a consultation.

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