Experts Can Assist with Property Division Determinations

The distribution of property in a divorce, although not as emotionally taxing as determinations involving children, is still an important part of the process. Property division can be difficult at times, due to differing valuations of property and hidden assets. Therefore, all parties can benefit from the use of a property expert if necessary under the circumstances.

A recent article regarding divorce expounded on the benefits of using experts during the process to assist in resolving issues. They can be hired by one party or both, and their opinions are considered admissible in court. In addition to assisting with child custody issues, they can provide guidance concerning the distribution of income and property. Among the experts that can help with property and income issues are income experts, real estate experts and experts that specialize in business valuations. They can appraise businesses and property to determine their value and assist the parties with how they should be distributed.

Property that is acquired during a marriage is considered marital property. Property that is accumulated before a marriage, or through gift or inheritance, is defined as separate property. There are different methods for distributing these types of property pursuant to a divorce, depending on the state. A few states apply the community property method, in which marital property is distributed evenly and separate property is retained by the respective parties that brought it into the marriage. The majority of states, including Georgia, use equitable distribution. Under this method, separate property is still retained by the parties, while marital property is divided according to what is fair an equitable, not necessarily equal.

As mentioned above, defining property appropriately is necessary to accurately distribute it amongst parties to a divorce. Experts can assist in this process by identifying and valuing property to assist a court in determining a couple's assets and what an equitable distribution would consist of. The assistance of a family law attorney can assist a person in the divorce process and in obtaining an expert if necessary.

Source: Huffington Post, "Divorce Confidential: Using Experts In Your Divorce," Caroline Choi, Oct. 24, 2013

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