Why is "fair market value" important in divorce?

It's well-known that one of the most common things couples fight about is money. This is true both in marriage and during divorce. During the property division phase of a California divorce, confusion can lead to frustration and further conflict, which is why it's helpful to obtain thorough, up-to-date advice from a licensed attorney. One of the many questions that can be answered with a divorce attorney's guidance is how certain assets are valued before they are divided.

Most spouses are hoping for an equitable division of property at the outcome of their divorce. In order for that to occur, though, the property obtained during the marriage must first be valued before it can be potentially subject to a fair division. Frequently, financial assets are assessed at their fair market value before they are distributed.

In general, the fair market value of an asset is the amount of money one would receive if the item were to be sold as is in its present condition. With vehicles, the fair market value is relatively easy to find, as it can be determined using the Kelley Blue Book that many Orange County residents may already be familiar with. For other assets, such as furniture, the fair market value is often the money one would receive if they sold the items at a yard sale or in classified ads. To discover the fair market value of a home, spouses can either obtain a formal real estate appraisal or they can have a real estate agent give them a set of comparable values.

There's often much more to proper valuation of assets than determining fair market value. Still, obtaining this value can be an important element in the big picture of dividing property fairly in California. More information on property valuation in divorce can be gathered from a Newport Beach divorce attorney.