Hingham, MA family law attorney Jason V. Owens explains complex assets are valued and divided.
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Well, there’s a lotta considerations when it comes to complex assets. In fact, these are some of the hardest cases that we face as family law attorneys. When we say complex assets, we’re dealing with everything from small businesses to offshore accounts to complex forms of deferred compensation like stock options or real estate that’s located out of state. And when we’re trying to valuate these assets, the first things we have to do is discover the assets. Sometimes they’re hidden, sometimes they are difficult to evaluate, and we’ll have to bring in an outside expert, whether that’s a business valuator or a real estate appraiser or some other expert to try to set a value for some of these assets. We also see assets like expensive collections, artwork, things that people have in their house that tend to be unique and have substantial value. Courts will look carefully at what an expert reports in terms of a value for these complex assets. A party can only offer so much evidence in terms of their opinion of value, so oftentimes we hire an expert, we coordinate the valuation process, and then we present that to a court as part of the divorce.