One of the things you have to be aware of during a high-asset divorce is how much your estate is really worth. You need to know if your assets are worth $10,000, $50,000 or $100,000. You need to be sure exactly how much your assets are valued at right now and how much they’ve grown since you got married.Appraisals are helpful, because they define an exact or range of value for assets. You may be surprised to find out that an asset you thought was worth $1,000 has shot up to $5,000 or that an appraisal on a home you own shows that it is now valued at $500,000 up from $125,000 just a few years ago.
You and your spouse have a few options. You can either elect to use a single appraiser that you both agree to hire or you can opt to have two appraisers and compare their appraisals. For example, if you choose only one appraiser, they may tell you that a piece of artwork is worth $5,000, and you’ll both agree to use that number during your negotiations.On the other hand, you might opt to use two appraisers. One appraisal may say the art is worth $5,000, and the other may appraise it at $4,500. In that case, you could set the asset’s value as the average between the two numbers or opt to take the lower or higher number for the purposes of your negotiations.
With the true value of your assets, you’ll be able to negotiate with a clearer goal in mind. You’ll know exactly how much your marital estate is worth and how much you may need to share with your spouse.Since you won’t technically split the value of your assets equally, you need to know what each asset is worth to try to walk away with a similar value of assets. Working with an expert can help you get those numbers right, and then your attorney can help you maximize the number of assets you walk away with during your negotiations.
Hassan F. Abdallah
Chief Operating Officer
Dewnya A. Bazzi
Chief Executive Officer