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Dividing books, dividing interests in divorce

It is almost always difficult to pull apart the woven strands of life spent together. Divorce is not an easy process, but it is an important one that can lead to a better life.

A writer and English professor who used to live here in Texas recently put down the feelings she struggled with as her marriage of 15 years was ending in separation and then divorce. Being a writer and lover of words, one of her greatest struggles was deciding on which books to keep and which to give up to either her ex or to a charity.

In childhood, Jill L. Ferguson had enjoyed the crime-solving tales of Nancy Drew and the Hardy Boys, later moving on to more sophisticated fare with Agatha Christie, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and others.

By the time she was an adult dealing with the end of a marriage, her book collection had grown to more than 4,000. She had learned that in college, her husband had been a lazy reader dependent on CliffsNotes to get him through books (even literature's classics). She had found that in their life together, too much of it was spent in front of a TV and too little in conversations of literary discoveries.

The couple had not had any children, she noted.

She said she worked her way through the collection as part of the process of property division, making what were apparently difficult decisions on childhood classics (some went to auction and collectors) and some went with her to her new little, rented house.

Others went a Friends of the Library sale.

Curiously, now that the divorce is final, her ex has taken up reading. The two sometimes recommend books to each other and have developed a friendship that replaces that the love they once had.

Not an easy or entirely satisfying transition, it seems, but once in which she is apparently contented.

A family law attorney can help you get through the legal processes of divorce, including property division, so that you can get on with the rest of your life.

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