Gusty A.E. Sunseri & Associates, P.C. Attorneys at Law

Valuation date can have a big effect on PA property division

For couples facing divorce in Pittsburgh, there are already enormous emotional burdens to deal with. It can be overwhelming to think of all of the financial details that need to be attended to in a divorce, especially if a divorcing spouse does not have an experienced property division attorney.

One of the details that needs to be thought about is the valuation date assigned to the marital property. This is because many pieces of property change value over time, either increasing or decreasing. Just think of stocks, or housing values. Therefore it makes a difference to the property division what date is chosen for determining the value of the property to be distributed.

Pittsburgh property division lawyers point out that in Pennsylvania, the judge will set the valuation date as close as possible to the date of the divorce trial. If there is no trial, the judge will use "today's date," meaning he or she will use the first date that they are looking at the case.

This means that for couples seeking divorces in Pittsburgh, the valuation date is somewhat out of their hands. It is probably easier for them to delay the trial, and thus the valuation date, than it is for them to move the trial forward. Likewise, if there is no trial, there is not much either spouse can do to get the case file in front of the judge's eyes and have the judge set the valuation date. Therefore the spouses should be prepared for some fluctuation in the value of the marital property.

Source: Forbes "How the Valuation Dates of Different Assets Are Decided During Divorce" Oct. 12, 2011

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