When you’re divorcing, one of the most frustrating things is that you’ll have to divide your assets. Whether you have many properties or vehicles, works of art or boats, the reality is that you and your spouse need to decide who will walk away with which items.

To be able to divide property, you need to know how much it is worth. Both you and your spouse may need to hire your own professionals to evaluate and place a value on your property. It is usually a good idea to hire your own and to have your spouse hire their own appraiser.

Once you and your spouse have your appraisers’ findings, you can compare them. Many people add them and divide them by two to get an average value, which is then used in court. You could also take the higher or lower values, depending on your preferences.

How does knowing the value of your assets help you get assets you want out of your divorce?

By knowing the value of your assets, you’re able to work out how much half of your marital estate is worth. For example, if your marital estate is worth $1,200,000, then you should receive at least $600,000 worth of assets during your divorce. California is a community property state, which means that 50% of your marital property is yours, guaranteed, unless you’ve agreed to other arrangements through a pre- or postnuptial agreement or in a separation agreement.

Now that you know you are entitled to $600,000 of assets, you can look at property like your vehicles, homes and other items. When you’re negotiating, you’ll want to get as close to that $600,000 as possible. If your spouse wants an asset that would make the division unfair, for example, a $700,000 home, then they may need to give you all other assets and pay you $100,000 to buy you out of the property.

Every situation is going to be different, especially with high-value divorces. It’s a smart choice to reach out to your attorney to discuss your options for dividing your property. You and your spouse will still need to discuss which items you want to divide and how. Some assets may need to be sold, while others might be transferred into your name or their name appropriately. It’s sometimes a long process, but good help will make it easier to resolve your property division disputes.