Let your Spouse Keep the Toaster Oven
Today, I would like to discuss with you the best and worst way for separating spouses to divide their household contents.
What are the household contents?
It is all the stuff you and your spouse bought and kept during the marriage. It does not include anything you owned when you got married. It does not include any gifts you received during the marriage from someone other than your spouse, or anything you may have inherited. Oh, and by the way, as far as the value of this stuff, we are talking about what someone would pay for it in its current condition, not what it would cost to replace it.
What is the worst way to divide your household contents?
A very, very wise lawyer once told me when I still had hair, that I should never, ever get involved in a dispute over the toaster oven. He told me about a client of his who was not able to divide her household contents with her spouse, and the lawyers had to get involved to help with the division. The one thing neither spouse wanted the other to have was the toaster oven. Yes, a toaster oven. The time and money spent fighting over that toaster oven would have probably bought each spouse an expensive gas range. So, the worst way to divide your household contents would be any scenario where you involve your lawyer. Let’s be honest, your lawyer, your spouse’s lawyer, and even a judge, they all want nothing to do with your toaster oven, so please leave them out of it.
What is the best way to divide your household contents?
In a word, the best way to divide your household contents is “evenly”. So that means you both are going to take some valuable items, and you are both are not going to get everything you want. When my clients cannot resolve this issue on their own, I always recommend that they draft up two lists that in their opinion evenly divide the household contents. Then I tell them to give the lists to their spouse and let their spouse choose which list they want to keep. This guarantees that the lists are fair and even.
As a family law lawyer, I am available to help you with many of the legal issues arising out of the end of your relationship or marriage with your spouse. That’s what I do. But please, it’s probably best if you divide your household contents without my help.
Thank you for watching today. If you need more information and wish to schedule a consultation, please visit our website at www.separation.ca or contact our office at 905-415-1636.