Division of property: asset and wealth identification and valuation

Division of property: asset and wealth identification and valuation

Asset and wealth identification and valuation

A couple often clashes over who is entitled to what, how much is something worth and, additionally, how shall the property be divided.

Will everything be taken away from me? At most half.

No marriage contract (aka prenup or postnup)

As a general rule, if no marital property agreement (prenup, postnup) exists, all property you acquire during marriage is accrued gains. The accrued gains, simply put, must be divided if you get divorced. Dividing assets is more complex than merely splitting everything in half, and there is more involved than just “who gets what”. The goal is to win a secure future, and to obtain the best possible outcome for a fair and reasonable asset division.

I am aware that some property is associated with fond memories and emotions, and you have difficulties letting go.

Participation in accrued gains, individual property (aka personal property)

During marriage you and your spouse acquired a mix of various types of assets and debts. First, you should list all the property owned by you and your spouse. Then you need to determine what is accrued gains or community property and what is separate or individual property. This may seem simple. However, it can be a frustrating task as you must be able to prove that something is your individual property, belonging to you only.

Identifying marital property (also called accrued gains or community property)

Swiss law does not adhere to the philosophy of “what’s mine is yours” when it comes to dividing assets.

I team up with you to identify what assets acquired during your marriage belong to both you and your spouse and need to be divided (known as accrued gains or community property). I help you assess what you are entitled to.

You will also list all the assets you have in your name, the property you had before marriage or acquired through a gift or inheritance during the marriage (the so-called separate or individual property). These assets remain with the spouse concerned.

Valuing property

Now you have to assess the value of your marital property. As you might anticipate, appraising assets such as stocks and bonds is different from appraising real estate, business interests, jewelry, cars, boats, household goods, art or wine. Holdings may be tied up in business ownership or real estate. They are hard to appraise, unwind and divide equitably.

Dividing property

After asset identification and valuation, you need to divide the marital property. Seldom can marital assets be transformed easily into cash or near money assets. Rather than splitting each asset in half, you may allocate certain assets to each spouse. Thus, the value of an asset is crucial for a fair division.

In the absence of a prenuptial agreement, according to the law, each spouse is entitled to half of the other’s accrued gains, offsetting the claims.

Be clear about your goals and financial needs. Decide on which assets serve you the most after the divorce. Some objects are more significant because of their sentimental value.

I encourage you to contact me. I can help you maneuver through the property division process, whether through negotiations, (divorce and family law) mediation or litigation.