Every married couple accumulates items with high emotional value. For Virginia couples going through a divorce, it is important to avoid turning the division of sentimental property into a battle.
Virginia courts may approach divorce as the dissolution of an economic partnership by attempting to divide all marital assets and debts equitably, according to the Virginia State Bar. The decision regarding fair division is based on the financial value of the property in question rather than the emotions of the parties involved.
When it comes to the division of sentimental property, however, emotions are impossible to avoid and maybe more important than the monetary values of the disputed objects. The Richmond Times-Dispatch offers several recommendations for how divorcing spouses can arrive at a resolution for the items that come with special memories. Whether spouses are arguing about who gets the baby stroller or trying to decide how to divvy up wedding gifts, it is important for both parties to step back and do some thinking.
Specifically, divorcing couples should press pause by taking a deep look at how and why specific items are so valuable to them. Each party also should separate the items that are truly necessary from the items that are simply desired for their memories.
A drawn-out legal battle over sentimental items benefits no one. For the approximately 30,000 Virginias seeking divorce annually, it is important to remember that sometimes stuff is just stuff. Memories are treasures, but one’s own security and well-being are important, too.