How to Minimize Conflict When Splitting Assets
This material is adapted from the award-winning book by Ed Sherman, “Make any Divorce Better.” Ed Sherman is one of the founders of Divorce Helpline. His dedication to providing compassionate and cost-effective personalized legal support to those facing divorce resulted in the unique service model that distinguishes Divorce Helpline from other California divorce attorneys and divorce document services.
This list was originally developed by California Judge Robert K. Garth of Riverside, as an aid to spouses having trouble reaching agreement about the division of their property.
- Barter: Each party takes certain items of property in exchange for other items. For instance, the car and furniture in exchange for the truck and tools.
- Choose items alternately: The spouses take turns selecting items from a list of all the marital property, without regard for the value of items selected.
- One spouse divides, the other chooses: One spouse divides all the marital property into two parts and the other spouse gets the choice of parts.
- One spouse values, the other chooses: One spouse places a value on each item of marital property and the other spouse gets the choice of items up to an agreed share of the total value.
- Appraisal and alternate selection: A third person (such as an appraiser) agreed upon by the parties places a value on contested items of marital property and the parties choose alternately until one spouse has chosen items worth his or her share of the marital property.
- Sale: Some or all of the marital property is sold and the proceeds divided.
- Secret bids: The spouses place secret bids on each item of marital property and the one who bids highest for an item gets it. Where one receives items that exceed his or her share of the total value, there will be an equalization payment to the other spouse.
- Private auction: The spouses openly bid against each other on each item of marital property. If one spouse gets more than their share, an equalization payment can be made.
- Arbitration: The spouses select an arbitrator who will decide the matter of valuation and division after hearing from both spouses and considering all evidence.
- Mediation: The spouses select a mediator who works to help them reach an agreement on the matters of valuation and division.
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