Valuation Of Assets In A Wisconsin Divorce | Asset Division
Asset Valuation In Wisconsin Divorce And Separation Proceedings
The division of marital property is a common component of a Wisconsin divorce or legal separation. In our state, it is presumed that all property and assets should be divided equally between spouses. This is true even if one spouse is not named on the deed, title, or account.
The only exceptions to this equal division of assets applies to assets that one spouse received as an inheritance or gift that have not been co-mingled with the marital assets or if there is a valid written prenuptial agreement/marital property agreement. Otherwise, it is presumed that all other marital property will be divided equally.
The first step in this division process is to conduct a valuation of assets.
How Asset Values Are Determined In A Wisconsin Divorce
Obtaining an accurate valuation of assets is in both party’s best interests. Therefore, independent third parties are often used to verify asset values.
- Homes And Real Estate. Real property valuation can be done in a few different ways.
- Use the tax assessment value
- Obtain a property appraisal
If the home has any equity, the current mortgage balance will be subtracted from the appraised/assessed value to determine the equity value. The equity will then be included as part of the asset division.
- Kelley Blue Book values are often used to determine vehicle values. If the vehicle still carries a loan, the loan balance will be subtracted from the Blue Book value to determine the asset value.
- Pensions and retirement accounts are not worth their face value. Value must be determined by an accountant or finance professional who will use actuarial tables and formulas to determine a present value.
- Personal Property. Personal property and assets are almost always worth less than what the owners paid for them originally due to depreciation. To determine a value for personal property items, the court will try to determine what an objective third-party would pay for the item in its current condition. Values may be researched on garage sale sites or sites like Craigslist. Fine arts, antiques, jewelry, etc. may require a professional appraisal.
The division of property and valuation of assets is just one more complexity in a divorce. For advice or an explanation of asset division methodologies, contact Eisenberg Law Offices at 608-256-8356 or email Info@EisenbergLaw.org to schedule free consultation.