When deciding on how to divide family property, divorcing parties have the choice of either privately negotiating and drawing up their own written agreement or having a judge decide on the matter. But whichever avenue you decide to pursue, achieving a fair division starts with accurate valuation of every divisible asset.
Precise inventorying and appraisal are imperative in cases where family assets are complex or unique such as in divorces involving families of high wealth or those who are sophisticated investors or business owners.
In such cases, divorcing couples do well to seek a lawyer experienced in working with appraisers, accountants, real estate brokers and other professional evaluators. An integrated legal and financial team can help divorcing couples arrive at a complete and proper assessment and valuation of their entire range of assets.
Types Of Complex Assets
Below are examples of the property for which careful evaluation is important:
- Real estate – including primary residences, second homes, investment property, business property, rental property, vacation property, land and real estate holdings in other provinces or abroad
- Business and commercial interests – including family businesses, interests in partnerships, professional practices and privately held companies
- Business assets – such as the value of brands, processes, customer lists and inventions
- Domain names and online content
- Intellectual property – such as patents, copyrights, trademarks, inventions, software, trade secrets and secret formulas, industrial designs, brands, logos and business processes
- Earnings from self employment, including consulting fees
- Executive perks such as stock options and bonuses
- Stocks and bonds
- Retirement assets and pensions
- Antiques, heirlooms, jewelry and artwork
- Boats, yachts, recreational craft, luxury and collectible vehicles
The lawyers at Peterson Stark Scott regularly advise clients in high-asset divorce, but also in the complementary areas of real estate and business law. Such a multi-disciplinary practice can be especially advantageous to clients in BC who are facing the end of a marriage or relationship in which unique or hard-to-value assets will be at issue.