One of the most important aspects of any Florida divorce involves negotiating the division of marital wealth. People tend to get very emotional when money is involved, especially when the decisions that are made will have a lasting impact on their lives. Dividing property can be the most contentious part of a divorce, but it does not have to be such a burden. Spouses can make things a great deal easier by creating a net worth estimation prior to beginning those negotiations.
A net worth estimation is just what is sounds like: it is an estimation of the family’s net worth. It is a comprehensive list of all assets held by the family, as well as an estimation of the value of each. Both spouses should create their own net worth estimation, and then come together to compare their numbers. Those areas where both parties agree on the value of an asset can be set aside, and any areas of disagreement can be given a second look.
Some assets are easier to place a value on than others. For example, a retirement account will have a concrete value at a given point in time, one that can be documented by a statement from the company that manages the investment. Determining the value of a piece of art, on the other hand, can be a bit trickier. In that instance, it may be necessary to call upon the services of an art appraiser to obtain an objective value.
Until both sides are in agreement on the value of various assets, it is impossible to begin the negotiation process. Creating a net worth estimation is not just an important part of identifying all of a family’s accumulated assets; it is also a great way to identify areas where both parties are in agreement. That alone can make it easier to buckle down and focus on resolving those parts of the process of dividing property in which Florida spouses do not see eye-to-eye.
Source: Forbes, “What I Wish I Knew Before My Divorce“, Michael Smith, May 1, 2016