Family Photos are Priceless in Custody by Fred Campos[Y]ou are driving home from work to grab a quick lunch. The kids are at school and nobody is home. As you turn into your neighborhood you see smoke rising from a house on your street.

You think to yourself, “I hope it is nobody I know whose house is on fire.” Your heart stops as you approach the end of your street and you realize it is in fact your house on fire. The fire trucks are already there, the fire chief meets you at your car door as you quick get out. “Sir, the first started on your 2nd store bathroom. I can give you 30 seconds to quickly grab some personal items from your 1st story bedroom, then you have to let us do our job and stay off the property.”

You race through the front door which has already been kicked down. The firemen are already cutting a hole in the roof to let the smoke out and hoses are being brought to the house in all directions. You hear your mind say, “25, 24, 23” as the seconds count down.

What Items Would You Grab?

For a second you freeze, then you come to your senses and grab photos, notes, mementos–the stuff you can’t go out and buy a new one at Wal-Mart. Family photos are priceless.

Consider the Family Photos and Pictures of the Kids When Separating

When you’re dividing property, entering into a divorce or separation, make a list of what you want and sort it by replaceable and irreplaceable. Having a kickin’ stereo system or the designer couch isn’t going to show you’re the better parent, but hanging onto things like plants, frames of pictures, some of your kids’ clothes, toys. Negotiate and capture these items. Get the photos, even if you have to get copies made, then sprinkle them throughout the house.

Don’t Go 15 Rounds for the Wagon Wheel Coffee Table

There is a funny scene in the movie, “When Harry Met Sally” where Billy Crystal character talks about going two rounds with the attorneys over an ugly “wagon wheel” coffee table. My point here is what really matters and what is important to your custody case. I think pictures of your kids, personal artwork Johnny drew in 3rd grade, photos of Sally selling her first box of Girl Scout cookies are far more valuable to your case (and to you personally) than you think. You WANT those precious moments.

Family Photos are Priceless in Custody

You want family heirlooms, and memorabilia you cannot replace when going through a divorce. “Someday believe it or night. You’ll go 15 round over who is going to get this coffee table. This stupid, wagon wheel, Roy Rogers, garage sale, coffee table.” Billy Crystal, playing Harry Burns from “When Harry Met Sally”

What irreplaceable items do you want from the divorce or separation? What replaceable items would you be willing to part with in order to negotiation irreplaceable?

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