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Scotland's Fixed Price Divorce Specialists

Although houses and pensions are often the main assets discussed after separation, the contents of the family home are important too.

Whether the couple have been married or cohabiting there are laws that provide guidance as to how the contents of the family home should be split.

Generally speaking any item bought for the family home during the marriage (or period of cohabitation) belongs to the couple equally.

Belongings acquired before the marriage remain the property of the person who purchased them and the same applies to anything bought after the relationship has ended.

Remember that although the second hand value of items such as fridges or wardrobes mightbe quite low, buying new equivalents will be expensive especially at a time when money is tight following separation.

And it is not always easy to split up the contents of the house. Some items will have sentimental value and other belongings, particularly works of art, may be original and impossible to replace.

Ideally the couple should decide who gets what themselves. Each party can prepare a list of what they want and negotiate about the items they both would like to keep.

But it can be difficult with tensions running high.

In many cases the parties agree to meet at the former family home and go through everything.

To avoid any unfortunate scenes if the couple have not been getting on well it is a good idea for each party to have a friend or relative with them. This may help if things get heated.

In some cases the couple can’t sort it out themselves. Sometimes one party will keep everything and the other will be compensated in the overall financial settlement.

In other cases family lawyers will become involved. Clients should avoid this if they can.

Quite often arguments about contents can take up a disproportionate amount of time with lists of items flitting between solicitors.

Time is money and nobody wants a situation where the fees on both sides exceed the value of the contents themselves!