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Law Office of Lily L. Huang

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Complications of property division

Dividing property may sound easy: “I’ll take the house. He can keep the cars.” When a family has shared life in and through that property, though, deciding who gets to keep what can be tricky. California families would do well to remember assets are often not simply property; instead, they include the meaning attached to that teapot or framed portrait. 

The New York Times reminds readers some of the possessions that have the least monetary value can actually cost the most in sentiment and emotional attachment. When it comes to dividing sentimental belongings, those involved need to keep this fact in mind, remembering different pieces will hold unique meaning for each family member. Voicing that a particular item has special value is an important action parties participating in asset division need to be willing to take. 

For an extensive list of items to consider when planning to divide property, Forbes offers some guidelines. Memberships to local country clubs, tax refunds and term life insurance policies are easy to overlook, as are lottery tickets, retained earnings and capital loss carryover. For couples dividing assets during a divorce, it is especially important for a wife to have access to benefits from her spouse’s employers. Stock options and pension plans should stay on the table as part of the discussion.

Pets, photos and memorabilia are perhaps more obvious, but deciding how to divide them still deserves some attention. Forbes points out that modern digital photography makes it easy for all sides to have all the copies they want of old and current family photos.