Valuation of All ProperTies

Don't Like What your Lawyer Tells You: This is likely Why

Valuation  is the most underrated service in family law and usually is at the  heart of all legal malpractice exposure.  This is true whether it  involves a benefit that later will be divided with a QDRO, real estate holdings, including the marital home, employer stock options or personal  stock portfolios, and  available income to pay support.  Family Law  attorneys often secure valuations only when the property in question is  intended to be divided by trading it with other marital assets.  This  limited use for a valuation misses the critical need for one. 

Reasons Why You must do valuations

A  valuation serves many purposes. First it organizes your entire case.   It does this first  by showing what is marital from non-marital  property.  Then it discloses  what may be divided in half from what  needs to be traded to accomplish a 50% division.  A proper valuation can  show the source of funds in the creation of the asset (providing a  sneak peak into whether an unequal division may be possible).  A proper  valuation can also show  which divisions produce income either  maximizing the ability to pay support or minimizing the need and the  amount that need be paid.  As support and property are interrelated in  so many important ways, the valuator must have full working knowledge of  the statutes and case law that drive the valuation result.                                                                                                                                                                                                      

Most Attorneys discourage valuations to maximize their fees

Too  many attorneys allow the financial affidavit required in all cases to  substitute for a valuation and  only seek a valuation when the case  fails to settle.  This allows the spouse to decide what is marital from  what is not and overlook whether the property can be divided or must be  traded.  This strategy maximizes the chances for maximum error because either marital property  will not be divided or that it will be divided when it really should not  be.  This procedure also maximizes  attorneys fees and costs when the case proceeds to trial.