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Placing a fair value on non-financial assets before your divorce

During your marriage, you and your spouse will generate income and acquire assets, as well as potentially acquiring debt. You each have a share in those assets and debts, regardless of whose income purchases what or whose name is on which account. If you choose to divorce, the courts in Colorado will have to divide both your assets and your debts unless you have a prenuptial agreement in place.

Certain possessions are much easier to split than others, as they have a clear and provable value. Other assets can be harder to place a fair value on, but it is of absolute importance that you take the time and invest the effort into determining the fair market value for non-financial assets, which can often represent a substantial amount of the total overall value of your marital estate.

Common examples of valuable non-financial assets include fine art, classic cars, jewelry, real estate and unique investment holdings, such as physical gold or digital currency. Furniture, books and many other possessions can also be quite valuable.

What you paid may not be what it is currently worth

Some people look at the purchase price of an item to determine the fair market value. That works in the event that you haven’t owned the item for long and there has been no drastic change to its potential value. What you paid for an item could be substantially less then what it is worth today. You may deprive yourself of a fair outcome by assuming you know what an item is worth.

Calling in niche professionals who can appraise the items and put a value on the unique assets from your marriage is of the utmost importance for creating an accurate inventory of what assets you and your spouse share. The more assets you’ve acquired, the more important it becomes to place an accurate value on everything to ensure a fair split.

For real estate appraisers to antiques experts, there are knowledgeable professionals capable of helping you determine what is a fair and reasonable price based on the potential sale value of the assets in question. The more you know about the value of certain assets, the easier it will be to push for a better asset division outcome.

Fight for your fair share even if you don’t want the item

You may not have any interest in your ex’s collection of 1950s vehicles or sapphire jewelry, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t ask for your share of the value of those items. The courts will typically consider who would have a more reasonable use for individual items when allocating possessions. They may simply choose to allocate the physical item to your spouse while giving you a higher portion of other valuable assets.

Talking with your attorney about your priorities and the various non-financial assets you own can help you start strategizing for your divorce.