Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law

Don't let emotions guide your property division settlement

When you're dividing your assets, one of the things you might worry about is that you'll lose something that has sentimental value to you. You're not alone. In fact, many arguments during divorce occur because of people fighting over less-valuable items that have a particular memory attached.

The problem with psychological attachments are that they're not always reasonable. Some people might go as far as to give up everything in exchange for just one asset they covet, but that's not a good idea financially in most situations.

Property division settlements come with emotions attached, but they should only be viewed as a business arrangement, if it's possible to do so. Everything that you shared in your marriage is divisible, which means there are likely hundreds of items to go through. Some will be worth a lot, and some will be worth very little. Regardless, if you focus only on one item, there is a lot more that you could lose.

How should you approach a property division settlement?

You should approach your property division settlement with a business mindset. Think about what you need to become financially stable and independent following the divorce. Obtain assets that help you in that realm. If there is one asset you simply can't give up, be reasonable and offer your spouse a fair trade for it. If he or she won't give it up, set that asset aside and allow a judge, mediator or arbitrator to help you determine who gets it.

When you create a settlement, you need to think about your security first and put sentiment second. Doing that will put you in a better position after divorce.

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Richard E. Fowlks, Attorney at Law
1607 N.E. 41st Avenue
Portland, OR 97232

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