Fighting over your marital assets is always costly, and there are times when that cost is justified. If your former spouse is trying to take everything and leave you destitute, of course you must fight back and keep enough of your assets to ensure that you can survive financially post-divorce.
On the other hand, too many men get caught up in an emotional battle rather than a financial one. Your ex probably knows which assets mean the most to you, and it is not unusual to see those become the focus of the divorce despite the high cost of arguing over them.
It is not easy to be a “grown up” when it comes to fighting over divorce assets, but in the long run you will benefit yourself immensely by refusing to fight for assets that have little financial value, even if it means parting with some sentimental objects. Here are some basic guidelines for determining if you should fight for an asset in a divorce action:
- Ask yourself if you can easily replace the asset. Sometimes a favorite old vehicle or collection has inestimable value in our eyes because of our former associations. Perhaps a departed family member left you a memento you want to keep. This is understandable, but many men end up fighting over an object that has no sentimental value and could easily be replaced, such as a family vehicle. It is important to weigh your need to “win” that argument over the real cost of keeping the asset, particularly if your attorneys spend time trying to get it for you.
- Think of your divorce as a “going-out-of-business” sale. If you walked into a home where a “fire sale” was going on, would you negotiate and pay a premium for an old piece of furniture? If not, then why would you pay such a high price to keep that same object in your home post-divorce? Furniture, electronics and similar items are all easily replaced with newer, better models if you have the funds to do so. Saving money on your divorce will help you refurnish your home with better items than you left behind.
- Come up with your own list of non-negotiable items. Keep your list short, but have it handy. Do not share it with your ex, but do tell your lawyer. It will help your attorney to understand where you are focusing your efforts so that he or she does not spend time fighting for useless assets.
The Men’s Legal Center is here to guide you through the divorce process. Contact us today for information on how we can help.