Dividing Complex Investment Portfolios in a Divorce
One of the most challenging aspects of a divorce proceeding is often the division of marital assets, particularly if you have complex or diverse investment portfolios. Here’s what you should expect if you or your spouse hold a wide array of stocks, bonds, or other types of investments at the time of a divorce.
Step One: Determine When the Investments Were Made
Your lawyer will identify when the investments were initiated. Any investments made before the marriage will be considered separate property, though any growth in the value of the investment during marriage may be considered marital property, as will any contributions to those investments. For example, if you contributed to a mutual fund before and during your marriage, some of the value will be considered separate property, and not subject to equitable distribution. However, some of the value will also be considered marital property.
Step Two: Get a Fair Market Appraisal of the Value of the Investments
It’s best to hire an expert to prepare a valuation of the investment portfolio. An expert will be able to factor in anticipated increases or decreases in the fair market value of the portfolio.
Step Three: Determine Whether There Are Other Items of Property That Can Offset the Value of the Investment Portfolio
Dividing an investment portfolio can be extremely messy. As a result, courts prefer that parties come to agreements where the person retaining the investment portfolio agrees to relinquish any right in other property (a house or boat, etc.) in exchange for the right to leave the portfolio intact. There are, however, a variety of factors that can make this a complicated endeavor. The investments may have a more substantial potential for growth (and loss as well), or the other property may come with additional financial obligations (a home requires maintenance, etc.).
At the office of Joanne E. Kleiner & Associates, we have more than 25 years of family law experience. We’ll help you stay focused on what matters. To schedule an appointment with an experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorney, contact our office online or call us at 215-886-1266.