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Disagreeing on the value of assets during divorce

April 23, 2020 | Firm News

When dividing assets during a divorce, one thing that can make the process more complicated and contentious than it would be otherwise is when you and your spouse do not agree on the value of the assets. If you both assign very different numbers to certain items, you can reach an impasse.

Remember, you’re not selling all your assets, so you do not always get to find out what the market would support. Couples often barter and agree that one person gets certain assets while the other takes offsetting assets. You may want to keep the family sailboat, for instance, so your spouse takes a luxury SUV that has roughly the same value.

But what if you argue that the SUV is worth $80,000 and your spouse argues that, while you paid nearly $100,000 for it when you bought it, the real value is more like $50,000 since it is used? They want $30,000 in cash to make the trade, when you think the trade would be fair without any extra money exchanging hands. This can hold up the entire process as you attempt to determine how much each item is really worth and what assets you need to use to offset things properly.

Property division, especially in High-Net worth cases, is often contentious. This is not a time when you want to make a mistake that will haunt you for years to come, but your spouse feels the same way. It’s important for both of you to make sure you know what options you have and how to seek a solution that works.

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