If you have a bank account with $50,000 that you need to divide with your ex during a divorce, and you’re attempting to divide it evenly, it’s easy. Both of you can take $25,000, open your own accounts, and deposit your money. The same is true for collections; for instance, if you have an art collection with 10 pieces, you can split them up based on value, even if that doesn’t mean five pieces go to each person.
But how do you address something you can’t divide? Your pet dog, for instance, is technically your property. A single piece of art can’t be physically divided because it loses all value. What do you do with these types of assets?
2 options for dividing some marital assets: Selling and bartering
The two most common ways to divide marital assets like those mentioned above are by selling and bartering. For example, maybe you and your spouse can’t decide who gets that one piece of art, but you know it’s worth $1,000. You can sell it, and each takes $500. It’s not perfect since you lose the art, but it’s possible.
Bartering is the better solution for something you really do not want to lose, such as a dog. Maybe you paid $1,000 for that dog initially. You want to keep your pet, which you see as a family member, but the value still helps. Your ex could keep the art, and you could keep the dog. You both get something that has the same value, even though you have very different items.
You can imagine how complicated this process can become. Take the time to carefully look into your rights and options.