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How to Divide Household Goods in a New Jersey Divorce

Getting a divorce is a painful and complicated process. It is hard to think about dividing the things that you have shared with your spouse, especially when it comes to household goods. The stark reality is that dividing household goods during a divorce in New Jersey oftentimes can prove to be one of the more contentious and complex aspects of marriage dissolution proceedings. There are several points to bear in mind when it comes to the process of dividing household goods. These include:

  • Equitable distribution of property standard
  • Marital versus separate property
  • Valuation
  • Negotiation
  • Mediation
  • Court proceedings
  • Emotional attachment
Equitable Distribution

In New Jersey, all marital property, including household goods, is subject to equitable distribution. This means that property is divided fairly, but not necessarily equally. This principle ensures that the property division is fair and reasonable in light of each spouse's contribution to the marriage.

Marital Versus Separate Property

Household goods that were acquired during the marriage are generally considered to be marital property. However, if one spouse owned certain household goods prior to the marriage, those items may be considered separate property and not subject to division. It is essential to determine which items are separate property and which ones are marital property before dividing them.


In order to divide household goods, they must be valued. This can be a difficult process, but it is important to determine the value of each item in order to ensure that the distribution is fair. It is not uncommon for couples to have disagreements on the value of certain items. In such cases, it is advisable to hire a professional appraiser to resolve the issue.


Often times divorcing couples are able to negotiate a division of household goods on their own. This can be a less expensive and less stressful way to divide household goods than going to court. Couples can choose to divide the household goods themselves, or they can hire a mediator to help them reach an agreement. However, it is essential to keep in mind that the division must be fair to both parties.


If negotiation is not possible when it comes to the need to divide household goods, mediation may be a viable option. In mediation, a neutral third party helps the couple come to an agreement on the division of household goods. Mediation can be less formal and less expensive than going to court. It is important to note that mediation is only successful if both parties are willing to compromise.


If negotiation and mediation are not successful, the court will make a decision on the division of household goods. It is important to have an experienced attorney to represent you in court. The judge will consider various factors, including the length of the marriage, the contributions of each spouse, and the economic circumstances of each spouse. As was mentioned before, when a court is called upon to divide assets and debt in a New Jersey marriage dissolution case, a judge applies the equitable division of property standard.

Emotional Attachment

In some cases, household goods have more emotional attachment than monetary value. It is important to consider this when dividing household goods and to try to come to an agreement that is fair to both parties. While it may be difficult to let go of certain items, it is crucial to keep in mind that the goal is to move on with your life. You need to seriously consider whether holding up divorce proceedings because of issues associated with the emotional attachment to certain household items is worth it. You don’t want this issue to unduly increase the time and expenses associated with a New Jersey divorce case.

In conclusion, dividing household goods potentially can be a difficult and emotional process in a New Jersey divorce. However, by keeping these important pointers in mind, you can ensure that the division is fair and that you are able to move on with your life. In addition, your New Jersey divorce attorney can provide you with sound guidance on how you should approach the matter of division of assets generally and the distribution of household goods. For a free divorce consultation, call (201) 845-7400 today.

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