Divorcing couples sometimes fight big battles over ‘small’ things

It’s surprising how often divorcing couples are ready to go to war over seemingly small things, such as who gets a particular piece of personal property. The item may have sentimental value, and it may become a proxy for other issues in the marriage. However, it’s often wise to step back and decide whether the battle is really worth the cost in terms of time, money and energy.

Recently, a divorcing couple in New York agreed on every issue, from child custody and support payments to dividing their home and other property, with one exception – dozens of photo albums created over their 20 years of marriage.

That’s right – the couple went to court to settle who had the right to thousands of pictures documenting their family life together.

After listening to both the husband and wife testify, as well as examining the photos, a judge awarded the husband 75 percent of the pictures. The court found he was intricately involved in taking, compiling and cataloging the photos, and that he loved photography. The wife, who played a smaller role in creating the albums, got 25 percent.

The judge even set forth a selection process: Beginning on page one of the first album, the wife would receive every fourth picture until the couple had worked their way through all 7,000 photos.