New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which simply means that marital assets are divided fairly between two spouses during a divorce. To ensure each spouse receives a fair share, the judge will need to know how much the marital assets are worth. Here’s how to calculate the value of marital assets:
Schedule Professional Appraisals
It’s best to ask a professional to appraise certain high-value assets such as artwork, jewelry, and other collectibles. Assets like these tend to fluctuate in value, so it’s hard to determine their worth without the help of a professional. An appraiser will examine each asset and conduct research to determine the fair market value of each asset, which is the amount that the asset would sell for in its current condition.
Ask An Accountant
Many couples also rely on accountants to help them determine the value of their marital assets. An accountant is typically called upon to help a couple calculate the value of retirement accounts, stocks, bonds, and other similar assets. Accountants must identify the portion of each asset that was accrued during the marriage before calculating its value. This is an extremely complex process, so it’s best to ask a professional for help.
Looking at Comparable Homes
The value of the marital home will also need to be calculated during the divorce proceedings. This calculation is typically made by looking at the sales price of other homes that are similar in size and located in roughly the same neighborhood. The market is volatile, so it is important to look for homes that have been sold within the last several months. Some couples handle this step of the valuation process on their own, whereas others turn to real estate experts for help.
Assessing the Value of Low-Value Assets
It is recommended that married couples ask a professional for help when calculating the value of high-value assets, however this is not necessary for low-value assets. To determine the value of these assets, find out how much each asset is selling for on websites such as eBay, Craigslist, and Amazon. Be sure to take the condition of your item into account when making this calculation. If an asset has obvious signs of wear and tear, it will not have the same fair market value as a brand new item.
Are you getting divorced? If so, Williams Law Group, LLC can help. Let our team of skilled attorneys fight to ensure you are awarded a fair portion of the marital assets.