One of the most challenging aspects of any divorce, but especially a divorce involving substantial assets and income, is the division of assets and debts. The core challenge of property division is getting to the actual valuation of assets in a San Diego divorce so that they may be fairly and equitably divided between the parties.
It is important to understand a few things about asset valuation:
- Good people and expert appraisers can disagree on the actual value of any asset
- Each party has an interest in either increasing or decreasing the value of any contested asset
- Not all assets with the same “value” are necessarily “equal”
Getting to the actual valuation of assets in a San Diego divorce can be a complex process. The Court must ascertain and/or establish the value of any and every asset before property division can be completed. Some assets are regularly sold in open markets and in these cases it can be fairly simple to establish a tight range of the asset’s value based upon the age and condition of the asset itself.
In situations involving a private business interest or professional practice, a collection, vehicles, real property or even investments such as stocks, bonds or options it can be challenging to assess an accurate value for each. Getting to the actual valuation of assets in a San Diego divorce is usually accomplished by one of the following:
- Each party hiring an expert to ascertain the value of the asset(s) in question and resolving the any difference between their valuations through negotiation, mediation or litigation before the Court
- The parties agreeing to hire a neutral third party appraiser to establish the value of the asset(s)
- The Court ordering an expert appraisal on its own authority
It is important to consider not only the value of an asset such as stocks or real property but the basis in the asset and the potential tax liability resulting from the sale of that asset. You might have two portfolios of stocks with apparently equal value, however the valuation of those assets after calculations involving the basis and tax exposure will often expose a substantial difference in their genuine present-day value.
Getting to the actual valuation of assets in a San Diego divorce is a legally and financially complex process. This is why it is important to work with the Certified Family Law Specialists at Burke & Domercq.