Valuing the Marital Property

There are a number of issues involved in placing a monetary value on the marital property. You should understand that placing a value on this property is often a hotly contested issue, for both monetary and emotional reasons. In some cases, it may be necessary for the Court to step in and oversee this process to ensure fairness.

The determination of the value of marital property can be as simple as ascertaining the amount held in a bank account or as complex as the value of an ongoing business or a timeshare. Often, expert assistance from forensic accountants, economists, and appraisers is necessary to properly ascertain the marital value of assets. In many cases these assets will constitute a very large portion of the marital estate. The proper and fair evaluation of these assets is critical.

Many times these assets are valued at what they could be sold for to a willing buyer. Sometimes assets have intrinsic or personal value that increases the value to one party or the other.

Occasionally, the value of assets is determined by what return the assets will provide to the owner of the assets. Each asset (or type of asset) must be carefully valued so as to allow an appropriate allocation between the parties of the value of the marital assets.

The valuing of assets is important in determining the division of property. Without a proper accounting of each asset within the marriage, it will be difficult to provide a fair and equitable divorce settlement.