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The Divorce Encyclopedia
Intangible Value


Term Definition Intangible Value - a value that cannot be imputed to any part of the physical property.
Application in Divorce In divorce actions that jump the bounds of reason, couples have been known to fight over items of intangible value more than assets of greater value. Sometimes an item associated with happier times becomes symbolic, and each spouse fights for possession of it as a way of vindicating himself or herself. Intangible value may be little more than sentimental value, but when love becomes hate, items pick up a psychological valence. In the logic of this, possession of a Bob Dylan record that has not been played for two dozen years becomes a kind of moral victory.

One Pennsylvania divorce lawyer advanced the idea that sometimes spouses fight over items of intangible value to prolong an inevitable divorce because as long as the spouses are still fighting they are still married.

Bitter fights over intangibles help make the water in the well not only undrinkable but also poisonous.

Sometimes antiques and works of art may be said to have intangible value. In divorce actions, appraisals of some items of intangible value may require the service of professionals.

Intangible value is very difficult to estimate. After all, what is the dollar value of that Bob Dylan record that cannot even be played any longer?

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