The Importance of Proper Asset Valuation
One of the easiest ways to divide marital property during a divorce is to come to an out-of-court agreement. Unfortunately, this is not always possible, in which case, a court will be required to step in and divide the property fairly, or equitably between the parties. However, this does not necessarily mean that assets will be divided equally. Instead, the court will take a number of factors into consideration when making the judgment, including both spouse’s economic circumstances, the length of the marriage, and each party’s contribution to the family’s finances. In order to make this determination, courts require an accurate valuation of all of a couple’s assets and property.
Ensuring that your assets are valued carefully by a professional is an important part of the property division process, so if you are considering going through a divorce or are unsure of the value of your property, it is important to contact an experienced divorce attorney who can ensure that your interests are protected.
Asset Valuation Experts
Once a court has determined which of a couple’s property qualifies as marital property and which constitute separate property, it will require the parties to provide an estimate of the current value of the assets to be divided. This can be a difficult endeavor, especially if the parties jointly own real property, a business, or rare antiques.
Although courts are willing to take a party’s opinion into account when determining an asset’s value, providing proof a valuation from an expert tends to lend weight to the claim. The date at which a court determines the value of an asset can also have a significant impact on how property is divided. Although state law generally leaves this up to the discretion of the courts, many judges choose to use the value claimed at the time that the trial for dissolution of the marriage begins. This is usually believed to result in a more fair distribution of assets, as property may have significantly increased or decreased in value since the date of separation or the date that the initial divorce petition was filed.
Types of Value
Marital assets are usually described as having one of two different types of value. The first is referred to as active value, which increases as a result of the direct action of one of the parties. For example, a bank account will have active value if a spouse regularly deposits money into it. The second type, known as passive value, is used to describe assets where an increase or decrease in value is affected by entities other than the parties. Stocks would fall under this category. To ensure that assets are given the proper value, parties to a divorce should consider speaking with a valuation professional who has experience assigning value to the asset in question, whether it is artwork, a vehicle, antiques, or real estate.
Contact a Divorce Attorney for a Free Case Evaluation
If you and your spouse are going through a divorce and are struggling to divide your marital property, please call Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. at 954-945-7591 to speak with an experienced Florida divorce attorney who can help you find the solution that is best for you and your family. We are eager to begin working with you immediately.