A part of divorce proceedings involves dividing a couple’s assets. During this process, the divorcing parties will need to list all of their assets and liabilities and determine how to divide their property.
Asset division can be one of the most contested aspects of many divorces. If the parties cannot reach an agreement through negotiations, the court will decide how to divide that property and debts. Before the judge can determine how to divide assets equitably, the court must understand the total value of the marital estate. This may require the assistance of an appraiser. If you have questions regarding the appraisal of assets and liabilities in West Lake Hills, speak to an experienced divorce attorney.
What Assets Require a Valuation?
Not every asset requires a valuation. Certain bank accounts and other monetary property may have an obvious value. However, there are many other assets that do not come with a clear-cut price tag. In these instances, divorcing parties in West Lake Hills may not be able to agree about the value of their assets and liabilities and may need an appraisal.
If a party owns a home, a plot of land, cabin, or other real estate, they might require the assistance of an appraiser. Without fully understanding the value of this asset, individuals will not be able to determine how to divide real estate and offset homes with other assets.
Couples who own a small business, or when one party owns an interest in a small business, will need to decide how to handle this particularly complex asset. An expert could look at all of the business assets and liabilities to determine the best way to value the company.
Artwork and antiques
Couples who collect artwork, wine, and antiques may not know the full monetary value of those assets. Many pieces of art can be worth significant amounts of money. The only way to reach a fair division of property in these cases is to have an appraiser offer a professional opinion regarding the value of these unique assets.
Considering Liabilities in Asset Appraisals
When an appraiser attempts to fully understand an estate’s value, they should also consider any debts. Sometimes, appraisers determine that the couple owes more on their mortgage than the home is worth. Other times, individuals may have significant assets but also large debts.
Dividing the assets equitably without considering who is responsible for paying debt can lead to unfair division. Appraisers must have a complete understanding of debts, car loans, rental properties with lease obligations, and other forms of debt.
Considering debt is a vital part of valuing a business and if this is one of the couple’s assets. Once the parties fully understand their debt obligations, there are multiple ways they can work together to pay off those debts, including:
- Selling assets and property to cover the costs of the debt
- Agreeing for one party to take more of the assets as well as a larger share of the debt
- Arranging for one party to pay spousal support to offset the other individual taking on more debt
- Each party taking a fair share of the combined debt
To reach a fair agreement, divorcing spouses in West Lake Hills should receive an appraisal of all assets and liabilities. Each individual should speak to their lawyer about protecting themselves from becoming responsible for too much marital debt.
Speak to a West Lake Hills Attorney About Property and Debt Appraisals
Once a couple chooses to end their marriage, they will need to find a fair way to divide their property or place that responsibility in the court’s hands. Asset division can be complex and emotional for divorcing families.
If you have questions regarding the appraisal of assets and liabilities in West Lake Hills, you should speak to an experienced lawyer. The impact of your divorce could affect you financially for many years. So do not hesitate to reach out to our experienced legal team today.