When dividing property in a divorce, the court will try to do so in an equitable manner. This may not mean the division is 50/50, it does mean that the court tries to give you and your former spouse an equal share of the property. To do this, the court needs to come up with a value for your assets.
According to the Connecticut Judicial Branch, the court has a lot of room to make valuation decisions in any way it wants. Typically, the court will consider professional appraisals, opinions of people in the case and its own knowledge of the value of the property. The court will often look at fair market value and will need to determine a date of valuation to come to a proper conclusion.
Date of valuation
The date of valuation is important because the value of some property may fluctuate often. When the court pinpoints this date, it can more easily determine a set value for the asset. The valuation date is usually the date upon which the court issues a judgment for the dissolution.
Fair market value
Fair market value is how much an asset would be worth if you sold it. It might consider the current marketplace and demand for the item. However, the general rule is that it would be the price you could get if the other person was ready and willing to buy the asset. The fair market value takes into consideration many factors that make it a more realistic price than if you were to just go with the value to buy something brand new.