Am I Allowed to Sell Items during my Divorce?

As you began the divorce process, you should have created a list of all of the marital assets, including real estate, vehicles, jewellery, savings and checking accounts, and all other financial assets.  This list is needed for you and your spouse to begin the lengthy job of splitting the assets you accumulated throughout your marriage.


While you may believe that some items are “yours” and therefore, you should be allowed to sell them if you want, most judges will not see it that way.  Items that are worth a lot of money need to be counted in the marital assets and divided as the court sees fit.  You could be in a lot of trouble if anyone discovers you have sold items just so you don’t have to split them with your spouse.

In some cases, you and your spouse may be allowed to sell items if you have a written agreement to do so.  Some couples sell items to help pay down their debts before the divorce so neither is left with a huge burden that they cannot pay.  Before you take this route, you should both discuss this option with your attorney.  He/she is the best person to advise you.

If an item is not a valuable possession, such as personal clothing, you can probably sell it without much concern.  The best advice to follow would be “If in doubt, don’t do it.”  Some spouses are so bitter they may try to cause problems for the slightest thing.  You want your divorce to go as easily and quickly as possible – the last thing you want is for your spouse to have a fit because you sold a sweater you got as a gift.

Unless you and your spouse agree to sell items to reduce your debt or the number of items you have to worry about splitting, it is probably better to not sell anything during your divorce.  Judges may think you are trying to trick them or that you are hiding items from the court.  Since courts demand complete honesty in everything about your divorce, it would make you look untrustworthy if you sold anything.  Better to hold off until the divorce is final and sell it then to get the money you need.

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