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Difficult Assets to Value in Divorce

Difficult Assets to Value in Divorce

Difficult Assets to Value in Divorce

Business interests, investments, collectable vehicles and art are difficult assets to value in divorce, and experience in asset valuation is important. Mark L. Scroggins is a board-certified family lawyer in Dallas with more than 20 years’ experience working with clients with unique assets. Proving the value of an asset requires the assistance of an appropriate expert in the business of determining asset values.

Proving the Value of Assets

When considering difficult assets to value in divorce, an appraiser may be required to offer testimony regarding appraisal and fair market values. If your soon-to-be former spouse hires an expert and you disagree with their valuation, you can use your own expert to make independent examinations and provide their counter report on valuation.

The owner of the asset may also offer testimony regarding the fair market value of an item and its intrinsic value not otherwise apparent to the untrained collector. For example, an item made from materials that are now scarce, or no longer available can greatly increase value. Consider antique furnishings made from Mahogany in Brazil, the trade of which became illegal in 2001. For many reasons, valuation of assets in divorce can be challenging. At Scroggins Family Law we have relationships with trusted experts with good reputations in our courts.

The Valuation of Businesses

Putting a value on a business requires balancing a variety of factors. Businesses are worth more than their current inventory, assets and cash flow. The future income of a business is valuable and is a function of reputation, goodwill and loyalty established among customers and the community.

External factors such as a change in the IRS code can affect a business’ bottom line, also affecting its value. The right business valuation expert can forecast future sales and receivables based on complex data and calculations. The expert could be one chosen by the court or agreed upon by the parties. In either case, whether the valuation report the expert prepares will be accepted as written is unknown. Also, the issues in the valuation of assets, especially business assets, may be used as leverage in other financial aspects in the divorce.

Challenging Errors in Valuation

Giving due respect to the experts who provide valuation services in divorce, the appraising process for a business asset or work or art can be based on objective facts and subjective forecasting of value, a practice that is not inherently perfect.

Common errors in valuations can involve issues of competence, the accumulation and analysis of data and the way the opinion of value is communicated in a report, or during testimony at hearing or trail. When all the court has available to review is a documented report, it can be more difficult to answer questions or challenges that arise. The valuation expert’s time may be a factor in deciding whether to call them to offer expert witness testimony in court.

Mark L. Scroggins and the team at Scroggins Family Law in Dallas appreciate concerns about difficult assets to value in divorce and create a specific strategy to win on issues of asset value. Mark L. Scroggins is Board-Certified in family law by the Texas Board of Legal Specialization and is consistently recognized among peers as a formidable Dallas divorce lawyer who gets results. Call Scroggins Family Law in Dallas to schedule a consultation by dialing (214) 469-3100.