How To Handle Difficult-To-Value Assets In Divorce
One of the most common bones of contention in divorce law is trying to achieve equity in the division of assets. This can be especially hard if some of the assets are from classes that make it difficult for people to produce valuations.
It's simple to assess the worth of a bank account, for example. What is the present value of a painting, though, especially if it has recently been up for sale? There is a process for handling these concerns so let's look at how lawyers usually approach this problem.
Eliminate Non-Marital Property
Much like dealing with any other equation, the math of divorce law tends to be simpler if you remove some unnecessary numbers at the start. One way to do this is to conduct a full accounting of which assets are or aren't part of the marital pool. With one ex-spouse or the other declared the other of a difficult-to-value asset, they may find that the math becomes a lot easier.
Likewise, you should inventory all of the assets. This will help you deal with items on both sides of the marital versus non-marital property ledger.
Prioritize Which Items Interest You
It's also not a bad idea to consider which items have worth to you. While personal value can't show up in the math of a divorce, it may help you decide what's worth fighting over. A little give and take in this part of the process can store some good faith for later when you dig into the tough stuff.
While it's not prudent to depend solely on what you can find through a search engine and an auction site, these are good sources of initial information. If an item appears to have massively less value than you expected, you might put less effort into assigning a value to it. Especially if you're dealing with many pieces of marital property, this can save time and conflict.
Once you have a detailed list of what is marital property and likely to be valuable, you can seek independent professional opinions. Appraisers can provide ranges of possible values for most items, and it's common to use the assessed insurance value, too.
Working with these numbers, you, your ex, and the attorneys can then arrive at a reasonable valuation for each item. If there are ongoing disputes after this point, you may be able to appeal to a judge for a ruling.
To learn more, contact a resource like Cooper Levenson Attorneys At Law.