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News & Articles

Osborne Morris & Morgan > News and Articles > Family > Hidden possessions

Hidden possessions

Posted on 22 Mar 2016, in Family

Bedfordshire residents may be interested in a study that has revealed that almost half of all divorcing couples hide assets from each other during the separation, and many throw away items that can have sentimental value for themselves or their families. A therapist in couples counselling observed that even mundane household possessions could take on an emotional significance and highlighted the importance of maintaining a sense of proportion.

The survey by Big Yellow Self Storage showed that, after money, some of the most common items that couples argued over included the car, the TV and even the bed. Ten per cent of couples quarrelled over who would get the white goods and 16 per cent over records or CDs. Disagreements over possessions like these affected 75 per cent of divorcing couples, lengthening the proceedings by an average of six months and, for some, raising the cost of the divorce by more than the replacement item would have cost.

The most common type of objects that people hid from their spouse tended to be of a personal nature. Mementos and family heirlooms featured strongly and some 34 per cent secreted away photos in order to ensure they would keep possession of them. Of the people who were scrupulously honest when they had listed their assets, 11 per cent admitted that they subsequently regretted not hiding at least one article. With such significant levels of nondisclosure, individuals going through a divorce might be advised to be cautious about accepting their spouse’s asset declaration at face value.

When dividing the marital possessions during a divorce, each partner is obliged to make a full disclosure of all assets that they own. A solicitor experienced in divorce disputes may assist a client to ensure that financially significant items such as the partner’s pension or valuable inheritance should also be included in the financial declaration.


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