For some couples, dividing up marital assets is a fast and straightforward process. However, the more assets a couple acquires during their marriage, the more difficult dividing them up can become.
Especially for high-asset couples who may have assets ranging from investment accounts to valuable physical possessions, creating a fair solution for property division can be a more difficult process. After all, there’s more for the spouses to fight over.
In order to advocate for yourself and secure the best possible outcome in the property division process, you need to know what assets you and your spouse acquired during the marriage. Perhaps more importantly, you need to be able to put an accurate and reasonable price on those assets in order to request your fair share of the marital estate’s value.
Don’t automatically defer to the purchase price
Whether the asset in question is a piece of unimproved land or a collection of fine art, the original price that you paid for the asset may not be the best way to determine the value for it on the current market.
Collectibles, real estate and art can all appreciate significant value over time due to changes in the market, perceived scarcity and other factors. The more money that you and your spouse have tied up in physical assets, the more valuable it may be to work with professionals who can determine the fair market value for unusual and complex assets.
Don’t rely on your spouse to always tell the truth
More marital assets mean more motivation to try to manipulate the outcome of property division as well as more work to do so. If the physical assets in question are something that interests your spouse more than you, you might feel tempted to let your spouse be the one who determines the value.
Unfortunately, some people will intentionally underreport the value of assets in order to diminish how much their spouse receives in a divorce. Having an expert look over your property and producing your own detailed inventory, complete with values for the assets, can help ensure that the courts have all the necessary information to produce a fair ruling.