Las Vegas - Bucks County family law attorney Jeffrey M. Williams of Williams Family Law, P.C. recently presented at the Advanced Matrimonial Litigation Symposium in Las Vegas to discuss identifying and valuing unique marital assets. The National Association of Certified Valuators and Analysts (NACVA) and the Consultants’ Training Institute sponsored the event in December 2013.
During the presentation, Williams highlighted marital assets and liabilities in divorce litigation that often are overlooked. These assets, including change in control fees, post-retirement health benefits and accumulated sick leave benefits, can, in many cases, represent a significant portion of the parties’ marital estate.
“These are assets that many attorneys and valuations experts may not have considered, but they can be vitally important,” explained Williams Family Law, P.C. “For example, some companies offer employees lifetime health benefits. If you are getting divorced and one spouse will keep these benefits, while the other spouse will be responsible for his or her own health insurance, such benefits are a valuable asset.”
Laws governing such unique marital assets vary from state to state and some states have yet to even consider the issue. In Pennsylvania, there is currently no case law governing such assets and it is unclear if the courts of the commonwealth would treat such assets as property to be divided in the event of a divorce. According to Williams, it will be very interesting to see how the Pennsylvania courts will address the issue.
“It’s crucial to talk to clients about identifying these assets,” said Williams. “Many clients would never consider a benefit such as accumulated sick leave as a marital asset, yet such benefits could accumulate to the value of hundreds of thousands of dollars.” For many people, this amount is significant and could largely impact the overall distribution of the marital estate during divorce proceedings.
Williams Family Law, P.C., is a premier family law firm based in Bucks County, Pa. The firm provides individuals with matrimonial and family law legal counsel and representation in alimony, child support, child custody, divorce, domestic partnership and cohabitation, grandparents’ custody rights, equitable distribution, marital settlement agreements, prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, separation agreements, spousal support, matrimonial taxation and related matters. The family law attorneys also provide guidance and representation in alternative dispute resolution forums, handling mediation, arbitration and custody dispute resolution. The practice at Williams Family Law centers on four core principles: experienced guidance, compassionate advice, powerful advocacy and knowledge of the local courts and counsel. The firm prides itself on leadership within the profession and a strong record of success.