Carolann M. Aschoff, P.C.

Why is the valuation date in your divorce important?

With all of the different elements of your divorce case in Jersey City that you have to worry about, you may think that knowing what day your marital assets will officially be valued may not be one of them. Yet when dealing with property division, you will want to know all the you can to ensure that you are not taken advantage of. A valuation date may seem like a mundane detail if you do not also consider the potential for appreciation (or depreciation) that your marital assets present. 

For example, say that you own a vacation home with your ex-spouse, and after your initial separation, they move into it. Knowing that it will likely be sold during your divorce proceedings (and its proceeds split between you), your ex-spouse could conceivably neglect the property in hopes of lowering its value so that you end up with less. Yes, their stake in the property would be lowered as well, yet if their priority is punishing you over all else, they may be willing to accept such a loss. 

According to information shared by the American Institute of CPAs, New Jersey values marital assets on the date your divorce becomes finalized. This opens up the potential for the aforementioned scenario coming to fruition. How can you prevent it? Communicating with your spouse over the need to maintain the value of your assets for the purpose of your own mutual benefit may help. If it appears they are set in devaluing an asset, you could seek injunctive relief to prevent them from doing so. Documenting any devaluing actions they undertake may also help. You could then argue that any depreciation is due to their efforts alone, which could prompt to court to force your ex-spouse to cover them from their sale proceeds. 

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