Property division during a divorce can be a challenge, even for the most amicable of couples. Many couples acquire high-value marital property during the marriage and find it difficult to divide various assets between themselves upon divorce. Because Ohio is an equitable distribution state, courts may determine a fair and equitable way to divide up the marital assets. Valuing the marital assets is essential to making sure the property is divided in the best way possible.
So, how are assets valued? The valuation process will depend on the type of asset involved. Here are some of the most commonly valued assets in a divorce.
Generally, the family home is one of the first major purchases a married couple will make together. Upon divorce, one spouse may decide to keep the home and refinance the home in their name only, or the spouses may decide to sell the home and split the proceeds evenly. Before taking action, the couple will need to value to the home. There are many valuation methods that can be used, including a:
- Formal home appraisal from a qualified appraiser.
- Comparative market analysis (CMA) conducted by a real estate broker.
- Broker price opinion (BPO) from a licensed real estate broker, agent, or appraiser.
Collectibles and antiques
Many spouses may maintain a collection of valuable items (e.g. coins, stamps, art) that they add to during the marriage. Some couples may acquire valuable antiques or other memorabilia. Determining the true value of these antiques and collectibles will likely require an appraiser specializing in that specific type of memorabilia to evaluate each item and determine the fair market value of the items. Keep in mind that any item purchased or acquired by a spouse before entering the marriage will likely be considered separate property.
A family business may be owned by one spouse, but it is likely that both spouses contributed to the business during the marriage. Therefore, the business will need to be valued if the couple decides to get divorced. A business expert will evaluate the business’ inventory and other tangible assets, as well as intangible assets, such as patents and trademarks. The business expert will also consider debts and other liabilities, including loans and payroll. Generally, the expert will subtract the liabilities from the assets to determine the final value of the business.
Dividing up the marital assets in a divorce is never easy. A family divorce attorney in your area can walk you through the process and simplify it as much as possible.