Community assets must be divided equally between the spouses of a marriage, as per California’s community property rule. This doesn’t mean everything needs to be sold to split the proceeds, but that the overall net value of the assets is equally divided.

While many assets can be readily appraised for an accurate value at the time of divorce, like real estate and bank accounts, other assets can be hard to accurately appraise, posing potential problems to an equitable property division.

Some assets have a relatively fixed value, like checking account balances and life insurance polies, while others can increase or decrease in value over the years, like investment portfolios or rare collectibles. Assets with appreciating value, like real estate, artwork or other assets with value tied to supply and demand, will have to be given special consideration during the property division part of a divorce. Some of these assets can be easily appraised by professionals who can provide a current and accurate market value as well as a forecast for the value in the future. Others may require specialists with expertise in valuing special items like rare art or collections.

Some assets may change in value rapidly, it is possible they will change before the divorce is finalized. Keep good records of all your assets; you may need to produce documentation of their value over time to include the value at the time of marriage, the value at the time of separation and the current value to be divided.

Similarly, community assets expected to appreciate value shortly after the divorce may need to have that taken into account when they are divided. Also, when assets are mixed community and separate property, the community property portion of the value needs to be appraised, taking into consideration what appreciate that portion of the asset stands to gain. When dividing appreciating assets, the rate at which they are expected to appreciate should be taken into account. Have an experienced family law attorney review your assets to ensure any increase in value is taken into account during property division. This consideration will help you divide your property in a way that is financial advantageous to you now and in the future.

If you have questions about valuing appreciating assets in a divorce and are in the Los Angeles, Pacific Palisades or Beverley Hills area, family law attorney Mark H. Karney can provide expert and efficient legal counsel. As a Certified Family Law Specialist, Los Angeles family law attorney Mark H. Karney can call on the right experts to ensure your assets are given accurate valuations to ensure your property division is fair and just. Call our Los Angeles office today at 310-622-9434; email us at or contact us through our online form today to schedule a free consultation.