The big issues couples face, child custody, parenting time, support, the house, can sometimes be dealt with more reasonably than little things that may seem quite frivolous, especially to outsiders. These little things can interfere with the resolution of a divorce, making everything much more costly and delaying the final decree.

Appliances, Equipment And Tools

Sometimes a food processor or a snow blower can really gum up the works during a divorce. Even though items like this are relatively inexpensive and far from unique couple will sometimes make the distribution of these things a huge dispute. Perhaps a way to get back at the spouse who wanted the item in the first place or an emotional reaction to a familiar object a fight over this type of possession happens more often than you might think.


Many would argue these are not little things, citing a deep relationship with furry friends adopted into the family prior to the divorce. Some couples disagree intensely over the “custody” of snakes, fish and turtles as well, and many visitation schedules have been drafted after contentious negotiations. Occasionally the fight continues into future generations, with disagreements over things like prize stallion or bull frozen semen.

E Mail Accounts

Often a family has a cute or easy to remember user name on a joint email account which becomes a bit of a problem when the couple splits. When one or both of the spouses either wish to retain the name on the account for their own use and deny the other access it sometimes can take mighty skill to sort the issues out. Even when one spouse moves on to their own account the refusal of the other to modify the name on the original account can cause an issue that take time and more money to solve.

Trivial Items

More than one marriage dissolution has hit a wall in the negotiations because the parties fight over something like throwaway containers or plastic bags. Easily replaced, often for free, they nonetheless block the parties from resolving the bigger issues.

Wedding Or Other Photos

Even though reprints or digital storage would seem to offer a simple solution, the family pictures are often a sore spot during negotiations. Whether for sentimental reasons or to destroy them, pictures and other mementos are a hot button issue with some couples.

Who Gets Which Car

Some would disagree and insist that the division of the vehicles is critical and complicated, but often this issue is more about continuing a disagreement between the parties concerning the lease or purchase of particular forms of transportation in the first place. Sense often flies out the window if one or the other is more car-proud than intent on solving the problem.


Sometimes a sincere problem if money is tight, but more often, this is merely a way to continue to get under an ex’s skin, people do fight over food. Maybe last summer’s pickles, the frozen venison or truffles at $1200 a pound, food inspires high emotions during some divorces.

Ordinary Furniture

Hard to believe, but sometimes a ratty old recliner or the futon from a couple’s first apartment causes a stalemate. Sometimes an heirloom or antique is worth the fight, but spouses do not always approach this rationally and delay things over commonly available or worn out items.

Things That Are Obviously The Other Spouse’s

This is the spite category. One spouse may hold onto something they know does not belong to them just for the pain factor. Holding onto an ex’s framed diploma because of their real or imagined sacrifice in helping them earn it or the baseball card collection inherited from the other spouse’s father may be simple obstructionism. It is clear they belong to one spouse or the other, but do they need to have a judge tell them that? Sometimes.


Whether there is a flurry of unfriending on Facebook during the proceedings or an argument about who can attend the upcoming college reunion the division of the friends can consume a lot of energy. Although friends are not a little thing, fighting over them is petty because other people are involved who can and will make their own decisions. Blind to this fact divorcing couples still sometimes fuss at great length over this ephemeral issue.