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Personal Possessions

The courts will encourage you to decide between yourselves how to divide personal possessions and the contents of the family home. Consider using any insurance values you already have for antiques, collectibles or jewellery, as a guide or getting them valued by an expert (although this can involve a fee).

You should try to make sure that, as far as is possible, you and your spouse/ civil partner each have everything you need for when you are living separately. For example you will each need a bed, sofa, kitchen equipment, and so on. If you do not have enough, for example if you own one sofa, the person that keeps the sofa might agree that the other should use some money from a savings account to buy one for themselves, or to take something else to compensate.

It is rare for disagreements over personal possessions to get to court. The court does have power to order how they should be divided if you can't agree. Even if something is in your sole name, the court can order you to transfer it to your spouse or civil partner or sell it and divide the proceeds of sale in whatever proportions it considers would be fair. When deciding what should happen to possessions, a court will look at how you came to own it (gifts and inherited items are likely to remain with the person who received them), their value, and why each of you are saying that you should be the one to keep it.

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