Divorce is the legal process of dissolving your marriage. A big part of what happens during divorce involves the courts separating your financial life from your ex’s. The courts will divide both your assets and your debts in accordance with Massachusetts state laws and any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that you have on record.
When dividing your assets and debts, the courts attempt to do so as fairly as possible. They may come up with creative solutions, particularly if your family has unique or complex assets. The more unusual your assets are, the more complicated asset division can become.
You will want to take great care to ensure proper valuation of complex assets, as placing a fair price on your shared assets is the best way to ensure a fair outcome.
Financial records from purchases aren’t always the best solution for asset valuation
Complex assets like real estate investments, investment accounts and unusual valuables like collectibles, fine art or vintage vehicles can represent a substantial amount of value for your marital estate. Don’t just defer to the purchase price for these assets.
An unimproved acre of land that you purchased two decades ago will have appreciated substantially in value since then. The same is likely true of luxury items and other physical investments. You may need to work with professionals who can place a realistic value on your assets based on the current market.
Determining a fair market value as opposed to just using the book value that you once paid for it is often a critical step toward establishing a reasonable value for your marital estate and therefore a fair basis for the future division of your assets and debts.