St. Louis High Asset & Valuation Attorney
One of the most difficult tasks in a high asset divorce involves valuation, the process of putting a fair market value on a variety of assets.
For real estate, simply having an appraisal may not be sufficient. The market may be depressed and understate the real value of the asset. Also, simply defining the fair market value may not be sufficient if you need to trace the contributions made by each spouse to an asset that may be separate, marital or mixed property.
Professionals often have their practices in limited liability companies (LLCs), which act like corporations for liability purposes but more like partnerships for income purposes, with flow through taxation. A tax return likely will not reveal the true income of the spouse or the real value of the business. Experts, like forensic accountants, would need to be retained to perform these critical valuations. Also, these experts can offer guidance as to the contribution made by the other spouse to the business. Did the other spouse work while the “professional” spouse went to school? Did the other spouse enable the practice to grow by caring for the children or making other contributions? Again, given the potential value of a professional practice, determining the proper valuation will be key to a fair and equitable division of all marital assets.
Investments also require valuation. The present value of an investment is often a poor representative of its true value. For example, a retirement account or pension will have a present value far less than the actual value of the asset at the time the parties will start receiving benefits. And as with real estate and businesses, both spouses may have made contributions to the value of the investment or the increased value of the investment that require tracing for proper division.
Individuals with high net worth have other assets not easily accessible for value – from fine art to country club memberships to seats on profit and non-profit boards of directors. Experts will be necessary to properly gauge the value of these assets for proper division and to trace for contribution.
As you can see from the issues to resolve, the process is not just a short set of simple, self-executing rules, but involves many complex and often difficult questions of proof. Only a skilled and experienced attorney can properly advise you as to your rights with regard to high asset divorce and protect those rights in a legal proceeding.
At The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C, we have over fifty years of combined experience handling family law matters, including valuation in high asset divorce. We help individuals understand their rights with regard to all issues, including high asset division. We have handled hundreds of trials before family court judges; if you choose The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C., you will have the benefit of a divorce attorney unafraid to go to court, advocate on your behalf and fully present your case.
Our Top Property Valuation Blog Posts
Handling Omitted Property After Divorce – What happens if the court failed to distribute all of the marital property?
Series: Economic Considerations of Property Options in Divorce – In Part I of this series, we discuss economic concepts relating to equal distribution of assets. In Part II, we discuss how these principles affect typical choices in a divorce.
IRAs, 401(k)s, and Divorce: Is There a Difference? – What claim does a spouse have in their ex’s retirement benefits in divorce?
Time to Act
Time is of the essence. As soon as you select The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C. to represent you, we will immediately put our considerable experience and resources to work on your case. The sooner we can review the necessary information, the sooner we can formulate a strategy for your unique circumstances, helping to insure the best possible outcome.
Your future is at stake. Make the right call and contact us today at (314) 993-6300. There is no charge for the initial consultation – and the only obligation you have is the one you have to yourself to gain the best representation possible.
Contact The Marks Law Firm, L.L.C.
For an initial consultation with an experienced St. Louis family law attorney, contact us online or call our office at 314-993-6300. We will set up a telephone consultation, if necessary, and will meet with you on Saturday upon request. Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express are welcome.