Dividing Property in Washington State: Determining the Value of an Asset

At first glance, Washington laws about the division of property look very simple: shared marital property and assets should be divided 50-50 between husband and wife. But looks can be deceiving. It can be difficult to split some assets down the middle, and it can be even harder to determine exactly what the value of an asset is.

 

When thinking about the value of an asset, ask yourself the following questions:

  • What is the market value of the asset? If you put your house on the market today, what would it sell for? Realize that this price may be significantly different than how much you bought the property for.
  • What is the sentimental value of the asset? A car that you lovingly restored over many years has a different value for you than for others. A home where you raised your children may be more to you than a house that is appraised for significantly more. 
  • What will happen to the value of the asset over time? Some assets lose value over time (a car is a great example of an asset that will often sell for less the longer you have it). Other pieces of property, such as land or collectors’ items, gain value over time. Don’t make the mistake of taking a depreciating item instead of an appreciating item – or considering the two items equally.
  • Are there taxes associated with selling the item? Some assets are taxed heavily if you try to sell them for money that you can split between parties. This fact should be considered both when you are dividing property and when you are considering liquidating property.

 

The division of property can have serious financial and emotional repercussions. Be sure that you have an experienced Seattle divorce attorney at your side to fight for what is fair and what is right. Call Molly Kenny today to set up a private consultation.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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