Who Gets Personal Property Items in a Washington State Divorce?

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Who Gets Personal Property Items in a Washington State Divorce?
Written By: Josh Lowell ~ 4/29/2024


Divorce can be a complex and emotionally charged process, with many aspects to consider, including the division of personal property. While it's common for divorcing couples to focus on big-ticket items like the family home or vehicles, what about the smaller, personal items that accumulate over the years?

Contrary to popular belief, most divorces don't turn into heated battles over who gets the blender or the favorite armchair. In fact, many couples can amicably divide their personal property without much contention. However, when it comes to larger assets or when the marital home is involved, the division of personal property may require more detailed attention and attorney involvement tends to be more common.

In Washington State, the division of property in a divorce follows the principle of equitable distribution, which means that marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. This includes personal property such as furniture, electronics, jewelry, artwork, and other possessions acquired during the marriage.

One common scenario is when one spouse keeps the marital home while the other spouse receives other assets or a financial settlement to balance the division of property. In such cases, the spouse retaining the home often ends up with the bulk of the personal property as well.

However, if the marital home is being sold as part of the divorce settlement, the division of personal property may become more detailed. In these situations, divorcing couples may need to work out agreements regarding who gets specific items or how the proceeds from the sale will be divided.

It's important to note that property is valued at fair market value, not replacement value, in divorce proceedings. This means that the sentimental or perceived value of an item may not align with its actual worth. Consequently, many personal items owned by the couple may not be as valuable as they initially seem.

In some cases, one spouse may agree to give the other spouse a financial credit to offset the distribution of personal property. However, this isn't always feasible, especially if the items being retained by one party aren't valuable enough to justify such an exchange.

Ultimately, the division of personal property in a divorce often comes down to negotiation and compromise. While some items may hold sentimental value, it's essential to approach the process with a focus on fairness and practicality.

As experienced divorce attorneys in Washington State, we understand the nuances of property division and can help you navigate the complexities of dividing personal property in your divorce. Whether you're seeking guidance on negotiating an agreement or advocating for your rights in court, we're here to provide the support and representation you need during this challenging time. Call the law offices of Magnuson Lowell PS today for a free telephone case evaluation, 425-800-0573

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