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How can emotions jeopardize property division?

On Behalf of | Dec 11, 2020 | Divorce

Couples amass many things during their marriage. With two incomes, it does not take long for couples to purchase furniture, décor and other items that help make their house a home. On top of that, they often combine their assets and finances once they marry.

This is natural in any relationship, but it can create a significant amount of stress and debate when a couple decides to divorce.

Dividing property can be a source of many disputes

There are two primary reasons why the division of marital property is often one of the most difficult issues for divorcing spouses to resolve:

  1. The financial aspect: Disputes often occur easily when it comes to valuing assets – and then calculating a fair division of those same items according to Maryland law.
  2. The emotional aspect: It is in human nature to develop attachments to certain assets or items. Many assets, such as the family home or an heirloom passed down through the family, carry an emotional value as well as a financial value.

These two factors can play off each other and add to the existing conflict between two spouses pursuing a divorce.

Going through a divorce is a process that already forces many people to work through complicated emotions. And while it is critical not to ignore the emotional process, individuals must take steps to keep their emotions under control, so they do not put their financial health at risk.

What kind of risk could spouses face?

If individuals let their emotions cloud their judgment, they could undermine their own best interests during the property division negotiations and divorce process. For example:

  • The combined financial and emotional aspect of property division can increase the chance of spouses disputing over who gets what
  • The emotional attachments to assets can prevent individuals from thinking logically about their current financial situation or planning for their future, post-divorce finances
  • A soon-to-be-ex-spouse might even try to use one’s emotional attachment against them. If they know their spouse is attached to a certain item, they might try to use it as leverage in getting what they want

It is important to note that one’s emotions might help individuals make decisions or determine what assets they truly wish to negotiate for and keep. However, spouses must consider the long-term effects of the decisions they make in the divorce process logically as well, so they can protect their futures.