How Assets Are Valued in a Divorce

Pursuant to state law, Florida divorces require an equitable division of the marital assets between the spouses. Equitable means fair, which is not necessarily the same thing as an equal division of the assets. After it has been determined what assets are considered marital property and what are considered separate, the marital property will be subject to equitable division. In order to fairly divide the assets, a judge will consider factors such as the economic circumstances of each spouse and the length of the marriage, among other things. The assets will need to be assigned a value in order to ensure that the division is, in fact, equitable. This is much easier said than done as the value of some assets will require professionals to evaluate their worth.

How Are Assets Determined in a Divorce

The proper valuation of marital property is critical to ensuring that each spouse receives his or her fair share of the marital estate. Professionals may need to be brought in for the most accurate appraisal of an asset’s value. For instance, a Certified Public Accountant, an actuary, or another financial professional may need to evaluate retirement accounts and other types of financial assets to help ascertain the asset’s value. Specialty appraisers may also need to be brought in for things like antiques or art.

Valuing a business is one of the most complex assets to value. The value of a business that has been deemed a marital asset can become one of the more contentious issues confronted during divorce proceedings. There are several different ways that a person could manipulate accountings in order to arrive at a business value that best suits their purposes. This is one of the reasons outside experts are often brought in to provide a valuation of a business. The appraiser will review things like the financial records of the business as well as its accounts payable and receivable. The appraiser will look to assign a value to tangible assets of the business, such as its real estate and other business property, and the intangible business assets such as the business’ reputation and community presence.

When valuing a business, an appraiser can take several different approaches. One of the most commonly utilized approaches is referred to as the “income approach.” With the income approach, the company’s present earnings or expected future earnings are used to determine the value of the business. When valuing a business and other assets during a divorce, the timing of the value determination can also be very important. Under Florida law, the trial court is granted broad authority in determining the value of a marital asset. The court will select a valuation date based on what is deemed to be “just and equitable under the circumstances.” Each party has the opportunity and should take the opportunity, to assert the basis for what the date of valuation should be for an asset.

Florida Divorce Attorneys

Divorce can have a powerful impact on your financial future. This starts with the division of the marital assets. The valuation of the marital assets is a critical component to the division of the assets. The trusted divorce attorneys at the Orlando Family Team are committed to protecting and pursuing the best interests of our clients. We will advocate on your behalf throughout the divorce proceedings. Contact us today.

About the Author
Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew and his partner, Ophelia Bernal-Mora, Esq., B.C.S., joined forces in March 2016 to form the unique and boutique husband and wife family law team at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. Together, Andrew and Ophelia take a practical and team-based approach to all of their cases and clients to deliver the highest quality experience and representation.
Andrew Nickolaou

Andrew Nickolaou, Esq., B.C.S., is a founding partner at Bernal-Mora & Nickolaou, P.A. He practices almost exclusively in divorce, marital and family law. Andrew also handles record expungements and sealings. If you have questions about this article, contact Andrew today by clicking here.