Sharing the Sofa?

By Jenna Brewer

Senior Associate

The process of deciding the division of the matrimonial chattels should in theory be fairly straight forward, however it can raise tensions especially where there are items that both parties want to keep.

It is always an idea to keep in mind that though most financial orders do give parties the opportunity to apply back to court if agreement over the chattels cannot be reached, an application of this type is rarely cost proportionate and the court can order that the item is sold and the proceeds divided between the parties so neither party ends up with the disputed chattel.

If there are particular items you wish to retain, are there other items which you know your ex would want?  This can help ease negotiations if both parties can compromise.  Another possibility is for each of you to take turns in picking an item, so one party does not lay a claim to all the best chattels prior to the other being able to have a turn.  With items such as family photographs can these be duplicated so that both parties can have copies?

If there are items that neither of you want, you can consider selling the items and dividing the profit equally between you.

Sentimental items can be the most difficult as their emotional value can outweigh their monetary value, but is there an item which your ex is more attached to which they would wish to have in exchange?

Though it can be frustrating, the legal costs of negotiating for a particular item can outweigh its value.  Also your ex may desperately want to keep that hideous sofa that you have always despised so why not let them have it to clutter up their home so that you keep something you really want?

For more information on family matters or to find out how we can help you, please contact our Family Team on 0345 646 0406 or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our Team will be in touch.