“Equity” is the value of an asset minus any debt owed for the asset. In a divorce, courts attempt to fairly divide the equity of assets in the marriage. Determining the value of assets may require the services of an appraiser or actuarial expert. Employing such experts can make a divorce more expensive, but can be the best way to determine value and accurate, fair, and equitable division of the marital assets and debts.
“But can’t we just agree on division of assets and debts?” Yes, you can. Distribution of assets may be achieved by agreement of the parties involved prior to issuance of the decree of dissolution of a marriage, or in proceedings in Superior Court determined by a Judge. This may preclude complicated, contentious, time consuming, and expensive litigation in a courtroom setting.
If you cannot agree, a judge will look at all the financial assets and debts, determine when and in what manner these were acquired, and then make a fair and equitable determination given the facts at hand.
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