Family Law Prof Blog

Editor: Margaret Ryznar
Indiana University
Robert H. McKinney School of Law

Thursday, February 11, 2010

A Better Way to Divide Community Property?

Who needs expensive lawyers and hours upon hours of judicial time to divide community property between wealthy spouses?  Kate Walsh, star of the television show Private Practice (and formerly Grey's Anatomy), and her ex-husband have adopted a new approach to dividing the property acquired during their 14-month marriage.

"One-half of the community property furniture and artwork to be divided by alternating picks after the flip of a coin to determine who will pick first," their settlement agreement reads.

Read the settlement agreement here or more news coverage here.


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Not all that unusual a way to divide tangible stuff where no particular piece of tangible stuff is worth bringing in a valuation expert, etc., but the parties don't want to simply LIQUIDATE all the "stuff" (the impatient judicial officer's ultimate stick).

Unfortunately, it can get cumbersome if there's a LOT of "stuff": I once facilitated a division of an extensive community property coin collection with the other attorney, as attorneys and clients sat there for hours, with audio tape rolling, going:

"OK, Wife gets [counting] 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-8 mint condition 1902 dimes.

Husband gets the remaining [counting] 1-2-3 mint condition 1902 dimes, and the first five mint condition 1903 dimes.

From the remaining 1903 mint condition dimes, Husband now gets the remaining 1-2-3-4. . . . "


R. Gould-Saltman

Posted by: Richard Gould-Saltman | Feb 23, 2010 11:58:55 AM

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