Valuation of Community Property
It is important to have a competent and experienced attorney on your side in order to effectively evaluate your share of the marital property. Valuation of real property, businesses, pensions, and investment income can be a complicated process. At Rice & Rice, Attorneys at Law, we will go over your marital assets in detail, and document the value of such items. Sometimes this process requires the use of forensic accountants, appraisals, and valuation consultants.
The time at which property is valued can also be a complicated process. Generally, the court will value assets and liabilities as near as practicable to the time of trial, unless either party shows good cause or the court finds another date would be equitable. The terms “good cause” and “equity “are terms of art and are fact intensive. In other words, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney who can argue your case in light of circumstances most favorable to you.
Fair Rental Value (Watts and Epstein Credits)
Another important aspect of property division is the fair rental market value of marital property being used by the other spouse after separation. Generally, if one spouse is staying in the residence prior to divorce, the other spouse may be entitled to the reasonable rental value. In re Marriage of Epstein. Moreover, if one spouse is using a community property business to derive an income, the community will be awarded its share of the goodwill or profits derived from its use. In re Marriage of Watts.
Division before Trial
Sometimes property can be tied up during dissolution proceedings. This means that some of your assets may be inaccessible for a short or long period of time. However, the parties may stipulate and enter into an agreement to the contrary. Moreover, at any time during the proceeding, the court has the authority, on application of a party and for good cause, to order the liquidation of community or quasi-community assets so as to avoid unreasonable risk. At Rice & Rice, Attorneys at Law, it is our goal to provide you with all your options concerning your share of community property before proceeding to trial.