Property division is one of the most challenging conditions to settle in a divorce. Joint bank accounts in the form of checking, savings and money market accounts are easy to divide. However, reaching a fair and just settlement can be tricky when more assets are involved, especially when those assets are not liquid. You must know the market value of the property to ensure the division is fair.
Assets you should have assessed
Fixed assets are inherently impossible to divide between two people physically. Therefore, you must decide who will have ownership in the divorce. Accepting fixed assets for their face value may leave you at a disadvantage, as market fluctuations and tax implications can affect their actual worth. You and your future ex-spouse should get the value of these assets before deciding how to divide your marital property:
- Marital home
- Motor vehicles
- Arts collections
- Real estate
- Investment accounts and stock options
- Retirement assets
Consider hiring your own professional appraiser so you can compare the values of the assets based on the current market values and their potential future values. After valuation, you can decide what properties and assets you want to keep and how ownership can affect your financial position.
Cash is not always king
Cash may seem like the most valuable and accessible asset you can claim, given the amount of money required during a divorce settlement. But you should try to remember that, albeit liquid, cash will never be more than what it is. It is imperative you settle only after considering all your options and thoroughly understanding the consequences of keeping or losing any of the assets. New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. If you cannot reach an agreement, the court can help you reach a fair and just settlement. Prepare a solid strategy so you can keep the assets that are worth the most to you.