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Michigan Family Law Blog

Arguing Over Personal Property Can be a Waste of Money

Posted by Cameron Goulding | Mar 16, 2022

There are many different issues that one may encounter in a divorce case.  There are many issues that are serous and some that are not as serious, so it is important to prioritize your needs and wants and what issues are more important than others.  It does not pay to become bogged down in issues that have less importance and lose sight of what is really important.  It is also important to weigh the costs in terms of money, time, emotions and aggravation against the value of what happens to be at stake.

One issue or area where people can really become concentrated upon when they really should not, is personal property.  This includes things like tools, furniture, jewelry and other such things.  Often people want to argue about seemingly every little thing that they own, right down to magazines and side tables.  This becomes almost an obsession sometimes, particularly where the divorcing spouse are bitter or very upset about the divorce, the relationship or life in general. 

The problem is that this type of property really has "garage sale value", meaning that whatever it is they are arguing over, almost every time, turns out to be worth only what one could get for it at a garage sale, so very little monetary value.  Then the parties will pay two attorneys to argue over these items and sometimes a mediator as well, the costs of this usually significantly outweigh the value of the items they are arguing about.  Further, this takes time and energy away from other more important issues the attorneys and the parties could be dealing with instead.  Further it is exhausting and time consuming.

In many cases, the attorneys will agree that the parties will arbitrate the personal property with a third party arbitrator without the attorneys.  This saves the costs of the attorney fees, but the parties still have to pay for the arbitrator's time which can be a significant cost as well.  One should also consider that the arbitration of the personal property will still be emotionally exhausting for the parties and serve to continue the grueling divorce process rather than allowing the parties to move on with their lives.  

If you are considering a divorce or you believe that your spouse is considering one, please do not hesitate to contact us to schedule a consultation.

About the Author

Cameron Goulding

A native of Oakland County, Michigan, family lawyer Cameron C. Goulding has been providing counseling and legal services of the highest caliber to individuals and families in Southeastern Michigan for over 24 years. Mr. Goulding grew up in Oakland County, Michigan and graduated from Birmingham G...

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