If you and your spouse are divorcing, you face the division of everything you have accumulated during the marriage. Tennessee provides an equitable distribution of property, which means a judge decides who gets what based on circumstances such as custody of minor children, age, how long the marriage lasted, and who contributed what to the union.
If you are divorcing, contact legal counsel familiar with the appraisal of assets and liabilities in Chattanooga. A dedicated property division attorney could work with you to discuss the process and help you get started.
Before specialists become involved, parties in Chattanooga can meet with their attorneys or a mediator and negotiate the fair market value of assets and liabilities. Most liabilities are easy to value because they are tangible debts, such as vehicle loans, credit card debt, and mortgages.
Spouses could also agree to the value of real and personal property; for instance, the marital home is valued on several real estate sites, and furniture and household goods would be valued at a price depreciated from what the couple initially paid for them. Importantly, in Tennessee, judges always require mediation for child custody and almost always for spouses to work on negotiated settlements, whether they end up reaching an agreement or not.
In some situations, property must be appraised by a specialist. The spouses might not agree on valuation, or they may not know what an asset is worth. Art and antique appraisers are often consulted for tangible property evaluations. However, when following a money trail, the most oft-used specialist is the forensic accountant.
When one spouse is not involved as much as the other in family financial matters, a forensic accountant or private investigator can act as a detective searching for hidden marital assets, including offshore bank accounts, property titled in someone else’s name but bought with marital income, and cryptocurrency. Once elusive assets are found, they can be valued in anticipation of equitable distribution. Other ways a forensic accountant or private detective can help find assets for appraisal include:
Because divorces are as unique as the parties to them, a local attorney can enlist the services of specialists who can find and appraise marital assets subject to equitable distribution.
Before your marital assets and debts are divided as part of your divorce, they must be appraised. An experienced attorney at the firm could guide you through the process of voluntary evaluation, appraisals, specialists, mediators, and much more.
If your spouse is withholding assets that should be valued for the divorce, we could enlist private investigators and forensic accountants to work for you. Call our office and speak to a member of the firm about the appraisal of your marital assets and liabilities in Chattanooga today.