Over the course of a marriage, many couples obtain a wide variety of assets. These can range from retirement accounts and investment properties to fine art or expensive memorabilia from sports or Hollywood. When a couple decides to divorce, those non-monetary assets can become a major complication. One spouse may have an emotional attachment to some of these assets, and likely neither is able to place a clear value on them.
If you have non-traditional assets, you will need the help of an experienced Illinois divorce and family law attorney to place a reasonable value on them for court.
Sometimes, one spouse may try to hide assets by using income during the marriage to purchase goods with unclear monetary value. You may not realize that the signed baseball on your bookcase is worth hundreds of dollars unless you check into it. The right divorce attorney, however, understands how assets are often hidden and knows how to place a verifiable and legally sound value on non-traditional assets during the process of divorce. Doing so can help ensure that both parties receive a fair and equitable portion of the marital assets when the courts finalize your divorce.
Professional help makes all the difference in asset valuation
Your attorney can help connect you with professionals who understand the value of your various possessions. In high asset marriages, a forensic accountant could prove useful. These skilled accountants can determine if money has been hidden in secret accounts or spent on expensive purchases. In other cases, your lawyer can help you retain the services of appraisers and experts who are able to put a clear and verifiable price on unusual assets, such as sculptures or classic cars. These professionals will create written valuations which can then be used as part of your divorce proceedings.
Illinois is an equitable division state. The courts will try to divide marital property and assets in a manner that is fair, given the circumstances. The only way for the outcome of asset division to be truly fair, however, is when all assets have reasonable valuations. This way, the court can see an accurate outline of your assets and determine what is the fairest way to split them. If you go to court without professional pricing on your assets, you could end up receiving far less than what you consider to be a fair and equitable share of the marital assets.
An attorney will fight for your best possible outcome
When you and your former spouse can’t agree on the division or value of assets, legal help can be invaluable. Your attorney will help ensure that the divorce is handled in a fair manner. You want someone who will advocate on your behalf for a fair and reasonable outcome to your divorce. Relying on the goodwill of your former spouse could end up costing you your financial security.