Valuing your stuff in a divorce can be a pain. Everything you have is not worth much compared to what that jerk took. Well, except for the house, the car, the jewelry, etc…
All assets owned by parties in a divorce action are to be valued. Even disregarding the marital versus non-marital arguments, a value for every asset is necessary for the Court to consider equitable distribution, how to divide your stuff.
Mississippi case law provides that a Court shall address certain factors when determining the equitable division of the assets owned by the parties involved in a divorce action. A lineage of cases including; Cheatham, 537 So.2d at 438., Haney III, 907 So.2d at 954. , and Ferguson v. Ferguson, 639 So.2d 921 (Miss. 1994) give factors for the Court to evaluate when determining the division of assets. The Ferguson factors should be applied in all appropriate situations, including;
#3. The market value and the emotional value of the assets subject to distribution.
#4. The value of assets not ordinarily, absent equitable factors to the contrary, subject to such distribution, such as [non-marital assets].
The Court has held that an owner can express an opinion about the value of something they own. So you can say what you think it’s worth, however an appraisal would remove most of the uncertainty.
Everything needs to be valued and be careful of overvaluing his items and undervaluing yours. It’s been done before.
Matthew Thompson is a Family Law Attorney in Mississippi and reminds you that sometimes one man’s junk is another man’s junk, too.