WHO DECIDES THE VALUE OF YOUR ASSETS DURING A DIVORCE?
California is a community property state, which can be beneficial during a divorce. Essentially, this means that both partners in a marriage are half owners of all assets accrued during the marriage, no matter whose income paid for what.
Community property is meant as a fair means of dividing assets. Spouses who do not work or work less demanding jobs often provide invaluable social and home life support to the higher earning spouse. Unfortunately, it can be incredibly hard to put an exact figure on the value of assets during a divorce, particularly those held in less common forms than simple stock.
Real estate, retirement accounts, jewelry, art collections, movie or wartime memorabilia and even antique furniture or classic cars can be a means of storing wealth in non-liquid form. Some baseball cards or comic books are worth tens of thousands of dollars, while cars and real estate can represent millions of dollars.
If you are considering a divorce but have a large amount of assets in unusual forms, such as rare books or sculptures, it is important that you speak with an experienced California divorce attorney as soon as possible.
An attorney can help you locate and appraise assets
It can be hard to determine exactly where your former spouse is maintaining assets, particularly if many of them are of the non-traditional variety. Working with an attorney can help you connect with professionals, such as forensic accountants, who can locate assets accrued during your marriage.
This kind of help can prove invaluable, particularly if you have reason to believe your spouse has been intentionally hiding assets from you with the intention of defrauding you during divorce. You should speak with an attorney right away if you believe your former spouse will be contentious about assets.
An attorney can also help you put the right price on assets. From determining the value of a retirement account after all tax penalties are deducted to determining the real value of vacant land or an expensive collection, your attorney can help by connecting you with professionals who can determine the real value of these investments. That, in turn, can help you make the right requests during divorce proceedings. An attorney can help ensure that you receive a fair and equitable settlement when your divorce is finalized and all assets are divided.
Divorcing is simpler with professional help
Divorce is complex and often frustrating. You can minimize the stresses and risk of a negative outcome by retaining the services of an experienced divorce attorney to represent you. Don’t try to get through this process alone! The greater the assets accrued during your marriage, the more important it is to have experienced legal representation and advice.