Ending your marriage necessitates dividing the marital property, debts and assets. Getting an accurate valuation is crucial to ensuring that you receive your fair share.
Dividing your property is often extremely complex, and certain assets make the process even more challenging. Here are a few types of assets that may require expert help and experienced guidance during your divorce.
Real property of any kind — your marital home, vacation homes, investment properties or land — can be extremely difficult to evaluate. So many market forces are in play that values can fluctuate wildly over time. In some cases, it may be nearly impossible for appraisers to find recent sales of comparable properties.
Gifts or inheritances
It may seem that gifts or inheritances given to one party should stay the separate property of the receiver. Unfortunately, certain actions can complicate the matter. If you used the gifted money to purchase marital property or a gift for your spouse, it may be subject to division. The same may be true if you deposited the inheritance funds into an investment account you own with your spouse.
Retirement accounts and pensions
Even if only one spouse participates in a pension or retirement plan, New York courts typically treat the funds contributed during the marriage as marital property. Courts may divide pension accounts in several ways. The general guideline states that each spouse is due half of the pension earned during the marriage. You and your spouse can negotiate different terms, such as a flat dollar amount. Courts may treat other (nonpension) retirement accounts in a similar fashion.
Courts generally consider items purchased during your marriage as marital property, but their value may still be in question. You may use a cost basis for valuation, but that method will not provide an accurate figure if the asset has risen in value. From rare vehicles to artwork to yachts, some items are difficult to appraise. Many factors influence the value of each item, including rarity, demand and the ability to find qualified buyers.