Horse Trading Using Valuation Techniques in Divorce Mediation

Horse Trading Using Valuation Techniques in Divorce Mediation

When it comes to divorce and the division of assets, not all assets are equal.  A dollar in a retirement account does not equal a dollar in an investment account which does not equal a cash dollar. Similarly, money owed to a family member does not equal an IRS tax lien which does not equal a student loan.

The equitable distribution process in divorce mediation using various valuation methods and techniques used to properly identify and distribute marital assets and debts in a divorce.

There is a process to divide assets and in divorce mediation, which includes the following phases:

  1. List the assets:  These four phases of  equitable distribution involve the identification of non-marital assets and debts and marital assets and debt which can be validated from documents provided in mandatory disclosure.  The foundation of full financial disclosure includes full financial disclosure, including an accurate detailed financial affidavit.  There are other various documents that are reviewed to identify marital and non-marital assets and debts which make up financial disclosure.

  1. Value the assets: The valuation Basis is the value of a willing buyer and a willing seller or the investment value to the current owner.

There may not be no single correct approach to certain asset valuations and different valuations will come up with different valuations.  There are numerous generally accepted approaches for valuing different assets- businesses, real estate, stocks and other assets. Identify and understand different asset valuation methods.  Many of these methods have subjective and objective measurements.

The date that the asset is valued can change the values of assets. It can affect the fair market value, the present Value, discounted cash flow analysis, option pricing models, comparable values, and the cost basis of an asset and the original value purchase price.

Taxes affect marital assets and debts.  It is important to understand the capital gain tax value, appreciation, and future tax values of assets.

  1. Assign the Assets:  After applying the appropriate asset values, applying the appropriate valuation methods the marital assets are distributed.

  1. Re-assign the Assets:  Often financial and logistic challenges in distribution may require the assets to be reassigned and the horse trading continues.

When it’s time for settlement, you and your clients need a mediator who is knowledgeable about the issues in divorce, understands the financials, and gets the job done. Whether it is divorce, alimony, time sharing or post-judgment issues, allow Deborah Beylus of South Florida Mediation Services to mediate the case to help you negotiate what matters to you and your clients in a balanced manner. 561-789-0710.