Not only do your art and your family heirlooms come with an emotional value, they also may have a considerable financial value, as well. During your Michigan divorce, it may be tempting to get into a dispute with your spouse over how they will be divided. At The Law Office of Lorrie J. Zahodnic, P.C., our team has worked with many couples to come to a fair settlement for the division of joint personal property.
The Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers notes that an expert appraiser is needed to come to a correct valuation of marital assets such as art, antiques and collections. Each of your personal items should be identified and cataloged so that its condition can be assessed and a value assigned to it.
If your spouse has hired a valuation expert and you feel that the results are suspect, you may want to hire your own expert to provide evidence to support what you believe to be the true value of the asset. It may be wise to find an expert who is willing to testify in court if it appears that you and your spouse will not be able to come to an agreement.
The trial court judge in your case has considerable discretionary power to determine what is a fair and equitable division of your assets, but will typically do so based on the valuation. If a mistake is made, but the judgment has already been entered, it is too late for you to seek to modify it unless you file an appeal. More information about the equitable division of personal property is available on our web page.