Can personal sentiment affect property division in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Dec 4, 2023 | Property Division |

Although property division is normally complex depending on the assets involved and other unique circumstances, the process becomes notably expedited when considering the actual value of assets.

Nonetheless, an item’s sentimental value to one party sometimes far outweighs its financial value, leading to disputes over items that might seem trivial to others. This is a common reason why property division becomes contentious and goes on for longer than how others expect it to last.

In private settlements

During private settlements, spouses have more freedom and control when discussing the division of their marital assets. They can communicate their preferences, which includes the sentimental value a property has to them. Whether it will work to their advantage will depend on the willingness of the other party to compromise. Nonetheless, one’s sentimental value can be a factor to consider during these private settlements.

During court proceedings

Courts have a different method of determining property division in a divorce. To ensure fair and equitable distribution of marital property, judges consider several factors, such as the marriage’s length, each party’s earning capacity and their contribution to the marital assets.

However, this list is not exclusive. Courts can investigate other relevant factors if they will aid the courts to come to an equitable division of assets. Whether sentimental value is part of the additional consideration depends on each judge’s discretion.

Managing expectations

While divorce proceedings are primarily legal in nature, it undeniably involves strong personal sentiments. These sentiments can influence property division one way or another, both in private mediation and in-court proceedings.

Nevertheless, divorce parties should always manage their expectations since there are still other factors at play during property division.


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