When you're ready to file for divorce, you know you're going to have to divide your marital assets. Before you ever agree to a separation, you need to know the value of your assets. The valuation date is the date on which your asset receives a dollar value. This is very important to your negotiations.
Every asset you have needs to have a dollar value associated with it. However, the valuation date won't be the same for each. Some assets have higher values depending on the date, which is why the valuation is key to negotiation.
When are the most common valuation dates?
It's normal to have a court select a valuation date shortly after you file your divorce paperwork. Others may choose to use your trial date or the date of separation as your valuation date. It's also possible to have a valuation date on other days, depending on your preferences and the specific asset in question.
What do you need to do to protect separate property after a separation?
The key is to remember your date of separation, or DOS. This date is essentially the line that determines when your marriage ends and when your separate life begins. Typically, all assets shared between you and your spouse before that date is marital, while anything from after that date is separate property.
The date of separation and the valuation date won't necessarily be the same. Your attorney can help you understand if that will be the date the court goes by or if there is a different date that is the valuation date for your assets.
Some assets have different valuation dates... Why?
Assets that are active usually receive a valuation on the date of separation. A business, home or other items that change in value receive a valuation as of the DOS. Valuing a business, for example, is best if it occurs soon following a separation. This protects you, since your spouse cannot allow the item to lose its value during the divorce or risk suffering from that loss as well. Passive assets receive valuations during a number of different times because they have stable values.
Your assets need a value for negotiation purposes. Your attorney can help you get each asset valued at an appropriate time.
Source: Nov. 30, -0001