The greater the value of your marital estate, the more work you will need to do to ensure a fair and equitable division of those assets in a Michigan divorce. Unless you file an uncontested divorce or have a prenuptial agreement to direct your divorce proceedings, the family courts will typically make all of the final determinations regarding how to split your assets and debts.

In order to set yourself up for success during the Michigan asset division process, you need to provide the courts with a thorough inventory of the assets you own, particularly those acquired during the marriage. Placing a fair price on those assets can be a difficult part of the process, but proper valuation can drastically impact how fair the outcome is in a high asset divorce.

The price you paid may not be the best reference for current value

If you just moved from the suburbs into a beautiful Heritage Hill home, the sale price for the property could be recent enough to provide a reasonable fair market value. However, if you have lived in your home for more than a year or two, the price you paid may no longer reflect the price that it could command if listed for sale.

The same is true for many other assets, including vehicles, jewelry, collectibles and fine art. The more diverse and unique the assets you have are, the more important it becomes to work with professionals who can help you place a fair valuation on those assets. Even possessions you have no desire to retain should have a fair value assessed so that the courts can ensure you receive comparable assets when your spouse retains thousands of dollars of sports memorabilia purchased during your marriage.