In a divorce, spouses split marital assets. While you may think of this in reference to personal assets, it also refers to business assets. If you own a business, your spouse may be entitled to up to half of the business's worth. To determine this worth, equipment valuation for divorce purposes is essential. Here's what you can expect when getting business equipment valued in cases of divorce.
Why Appraise Equipment Before a Divorce
During a divorce, you must split the marital assets with your soon to be ex spouse. While it may be easy enough to assess the value of your home or car, gauging the worth of your business assets is trickier. An appraiser can estimate the value of your business by comparing it to your closest competitors. Equipment valuation methods help an appraiser determine the fair market value of business equipment. From this valuation, a judge or mediator can determine how much money your spouse is entitled to, by law.
Valuing equipment for divorce purposes is the easiest way to determine your spouse's allotment, but it also benefits you. You want lower appraisal values for equipment where your spouse will want higher values. An appraiser can fairly assess business equipment without favoring either side.
Divorce cases often turn acrimonious as partners fight over division of property, child custody, and other matters. As these cases drag on, legal fees mount. So do stress and tension. By letting an appraiser determine the worth of your business and equipment, you can reduce your stress and save both time and money.
What to Expect When Valuing Equipment for Divorce Purposes
When you schedule an appraisal, a certified appraiser will come out to your business. They will inspect the premises and take photos or videos of your equipment. An appraiser might ask to see a maintenance log or note the make, model, and condition of your business assets. A skilled appraiser will be thorough in their inspection, taking even the small tools and furniture into account.
The appraiser will then review this information, perform independent research, and deliver an equipment valuation which you can use for divorce purposes.
You may use a single appraiser for divorce purposes or each party may retain their own appraiser. It depends on how amicable the divorce process is.
It is essential that you hire a certified appraiser when taking equipment values for divorce, as an appraiser who is not certified is viewed as suspect by the court.
A dealer, auctioneer, or other party should be avoided for valuation as well, as they may not have an independent, unbiased opinion of equipment value. Consider that an auctioneer who lowballs your construction business assets -- reducing the amount of money you have to give your soon to be ex spouse -- may hope to make a tidy profit by buying the equipment off you for a song.
Certified appraisers have experience conducting appraisals for legal purposes, and many have previous experience testifying under oath. If your appraiser has to take the stand, this comfort can make the difference between a valuation that stands up in court and one that crumbles under cross-examination.
Start searching for a certified appraiser who understands your industry as soon as you know you will be getting divorced. This gives you time to identify the right person, who can value your equipment fairly and assist with the division of marital assets as required by law.