I made a list of all the items in my house that I consider mine and presented it to my attorney. She told me that I am unlikely to get 50% of everything and urged me to cull the list down to what is really important to me.
Why does it seem that equal time with my children and equal division of property is mutually exclusive? Shouldn’t I be able to get both? Also, would it make sense to file a post-divorce lawsuit to get my fair share of the property?
I am not licensed to practice in your state. Therefore, I cannot inform you as to the specific laws of your state and can only provide you with general information regarding divorce.
You are right that equal time with your children and an equal distribution of personal property should not be mutually exclusive. I do not know whether there are specific laws related to the division of property in your state, but it seems that you should be able to get both.
However, in many cases, the division of personal property comes down to assessing the value of those items and attempting to make sure that each party receives approximately one-half the value of the personal property rather than one-half of the actual property.
To have a meaningful trial concerning personal property, you would want to value everything you wrote down on your list. Then if you and your wife can’t agree on the value of the items, you would need to have them appraised. Items would have to be taken to an appraiser who specializes in that type of product.
Honestly, you could be looking at working with several different appraisers. Typically, the amount of time and money spent on appraising the items and then the time and money spent on personal property at trial are simply going to outweigh the value of the property itself.
I agree with your attorney that you should pare down your list of personal property items that you want to those that are most important to you, but for the reasons stated above rather than the reasons provided in your question.
Remember, I am unable to provide you with anything more than general divorce tips, so please consult a domestic litigation attorney in your area to obtain specific advice as to the laws in your state and how they impact your circumstances.