Going through a divorce is hard enough, but what can be more frustrating is how business-like you have to be with your assets. It’s not just a matter of “I want this and you can have that.” You may need to have valuations of assets to determine their worth, so that the actual value of your marital estate is known and can be divided fairly.

There are certain assets that are more likely to need to be evaluated. Some pieces of property you may wish to have assessed include:

  • Your home or property in your possession
  • Vehicles
  • Artwork
  • Antiques

These items have the potential to be worth more than you’d expect, so it’s a good idea to have their values assessed.

When you separate your assets, you have two main options. You have the ability to negotiate with your spouse and choose what you each want to keep, or you can go to court and allow a judge to rule on the case. In either situation, you should know the true value of the marital estate before you agree to any settlement. Why? If your estate is worth $500,000, you should not be walking away with only $25,000 of assets (in most cases).

Get your house’s value out in the open

It’s probably most important to get your home appraised. Your house could be worth hundreds of thousands of dollars, so you want to know what it’s worth to decide how to handle this asset during divorce.

There are a few ways to handle a home that’s worth a significant amount of money. You can sell it and split the proceeds in a fair way, keep the home and compensate your spouse for it upon its sale, or buy out your spouse’s portion of ownership or vice versa. Some people continue to share the home, especially if it’s an owned rental or vacation home that can have mutual benefits long into the future.

Florida does not have community property laws, which is another thing you need to consider as you negotiate. Without these laws, you’re not going to be entitled to half of the estate but instead an equitable share. You and your attorney will need to do what you can to prove that you should receive a certain value of the property, and then you can negotiate for it. If you and your spouse can settle outside court, this may be a good path forward.