Typically, when property is divided between spouses in a divorce, the court values the assets and liabilities as of the date of the trial. This is an important rule for the parties to understand, because assets that fluctuate in value may be worth considerably more or less as of the trial date, compared to other more stable marital assets that will also be divided by the court or by stipulation of the parties. In certain instances, a specific asset or liability should be valued sometime after the parties separate but before trial. This may be because a spouse that continues to operate a community property business after separation places the business in financial peril, and the non-offending spouse should not be punished with a decreased value in this community property asset
Oftentimes our client is the spouse that continues to work hard at the business after separation and as a result of these tireless efforts, the business is worth significantly more, or has enjoyed huge profits after separation as a result of this work. These efforts should be awarded to the party whose skill, industry, guidance and reputation caused the business to thrive. We work with our clients to discuss all of the options related to dividing the diverse community property asset and liability portfolio acquired during the marriage, and make sure that our clients understand all of their options.