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Cases of Interest: Valuation of Property
National Legal Research Group, Inc.

ALASKA: Williams v. Crawford, No. S-9791 (Alaska Feb. 8, 2002).
Where the wife is entitled to one-half of her husband's civil service pension, her share should be valued as of the date the couple entered into their divorce agreement rather than on the date of the husband's death.
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ALASKA: Virgin v. Virgin, 990 P.2d 1040 (Alaska 1999).
The cost of a sale of an asset can be deducted from a spouse's share of the asset if there is evidence that the sale is imminent and that the evidence supports the estimated costs of the sale.
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ALASKA: Berg v. Berg, 983 P.2d 1244 (Alaska 1999).
Division of marital property is a three-step process: Determine what property is marital, place a monetary value on that property, and, finally, equitably distribute that property.
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ALASKA: Cox v. Cox, 882 P.2d 909 (Alaska 1994).
Given the speculative nature of the testimony regarding sale costs and the lack of a firm selling date, it was not error for the trial court to deduct only a portion of the selling costs.
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ALASKA: McQueary v. McQueary, 902 P.2d 1326 (Alaska 1995).
When valuing an asset encumbered by a debt, the interest rate on the debt must be taken into account. This case potentially could be useful authority in dissolution cases where the debt on one of the parties' assets carries an unusually high or low interest rate.
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ARKANSAS: Killough v. Killough, 72 Ark. App. 62, 32 S.W.3d 57 (2000).
The wife argued that the trial court's decision not to include the retained earnings of the husband's professional association in its determination of the marital assets was error.
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CALIFORNIA: In re Marriage of Reuling, ___ Cal. App. 4th ___, 28 Cal. Rptr. 2d 726 (1994).
Trial court properly valued husband's stock at time of trial, rather than at an earlier date when its value was much higher.
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CALIFORNIA: In re Marriage of Stevenson, 20 Cal. App. 4th 250, 24 Cal. Rptr. 2d 411 (1993).
Small businesses, which rely heavily on the skill and reputation of the parties who operate them, must be valued at the time of separation not at the time of trial.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Antuna, 8 P.3d 589 (Colo. Ct. App. 2000).
The husband was not prejudiced by the late receipt of the report of the wife's valuation expert concerning her interest in her medical practice.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Huston, 967 P.2d 181 (Colo. Ct. App. 1998).
The parties' marital estate included the value of stock shares at the time when they were liquidated by the wife in violation of a temporary injunction against transferring property.
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COLORADO: In re Marriage of Banning, 971 P.2d 289 (Colo. Ct. App. 1998).
The trial court acted within its discretion by utilizing the excess-earnings method to value the husband's business and its goodwill.
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DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA: McDiarmid v. McDiarmid, 649 A.2d 810 (D.C. 1994).
The good will of a law practice acquired during a marriage is marital property, but good will could not be included in the value of the husband's law partnership interest because the governing partnership agreement would preclude him from realizing a share of the firm's good will if he terminated his employment or sold his partnership interest.
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FLORIDA: Nelson v. Nelson, No. 5D99-826 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. June 29, 2001).
The wife argued that the trial court erred in not granting her a perfected security interest in the stock of a family corporation. The couple here had a long-term marriage: 38 years.
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FLORIDA: Weinstock v. Weinstock, 634 So. 2d 775 (Fla. DCA 1994).
Inclusion of good will as a marital asset was improper because the evidence failed to establish a value for the good will apart from the husband's continued presence.
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FLORIDA: Ritter v. Ritter, 690 So. 2d 1372 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1997).
The trial court erred in precluding the husband from calling the wife's personal injury lawyer to testify concerning her offer to settle her pending personal injury lawsuit.
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FLORIDA: Williams v. Williams, 683 So. 2d 1119 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 1996).
The trial court did not abuse its discretion when it reduced the value of the husband's stock in his law firm by 20% because he held only a minority interest in the firm and the stock was not readily marketable.
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IDAHO: Worzala v. Worzala, ___ Idaho ___, 7 P.3d 1092 (2000).
The question before the court was whether a welding supply business was the husband's separate property.
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IDAHO: McAffee v. McAffee, 971 P.2d 734 (Idaho Ct. App. 1999).
The trial court did not err in valuing the husband's business based on the net value of its assets exclusive of goodwill, in view of evidence that the business was not a going concern.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Claydon, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 715 N.E.2d 1201 (1999).
The husband's shares in an oral surgery practice should be valued at a price reflecting the hard assets of the practice rather than their value upon the husband's retirement, death, or disability.
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ILLINOIS: In re Marriage of Talty, 252 Ill. App. 3d 80, 623 N.E.2d 1041 (1993).
The trial court correctly included good will when valuing the husband's car dealership because, unlike a professional business where good will follows the individual professional, the dealership was an ongoing concern and the good will stayed with the business.
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ILLINOIS: Blackstone v. Blackstone, ___ Ill. App. 3d ___, 681 N.E.2d 72 (1997).
Remand was required for valuation of the parties' interest in three closely held corporations, where the wife did not present any expert testimony on their value and the trial court rejected the testimony of the husband's expert.
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INDIANA: Landau v. Bailey, 629 N.E.2d 264 (Ind. Ct. App. 1994).
The trial court erred by granting summary judgment against the wife in her malpractice case because there remained a factual question of whether her divorce lawyer failed to present evidence in the dissolution proceeding of the good-will value of the husband's law practice.
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INDIANA: Knotts v. Knotts, 693 N.E.2d 962 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998).
The value of the husband's unexercised stock options should not have been reduced by the amount of estimated capital gains taxes.
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INDIANA: Hiser v. Hiser, 692 N.E.2d 925 (Ind. Ct. App. 1998).
The value of the husband's stock options was properly reduced to account for taxes paid at the time when he exercised them and sold the stock during the dissolution proceedings.
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IOWA: In re Marriage of Moomaw, No. 1-119/00-869 (Iowa Ct. App. June 13, 2001).
Here, the couple were married in 1964. At the time of the dissolution hearing, on April 11, 2000, the husband was 60 years old. He received a retirement pension amount of $2,025 per month, which after withholding taxes gave him $1,816 per month. The husband testified that his net monthly income would not change greatly after he begins to receive Social Security payments.
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LOUISIANA: Barrow v. Barrow, 669 So. 2d 622 (La. Ct. App. 1996).
When valuing the husband's accounts receivable as part of his medical practice, it was necessary to take into account the husband's average historical rate of collection as well as state and federal income tax liability.
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MAINE: Noyes v. Noyes, 662 A.2d 921 (Me. 1995).
It was not an abuse of discretion for the trial court to value the marital property at the time of the second divorce hearing where the first divorce judgment was reversed on appeal.
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MAINE: Peters v. Peters, 697 A.2d 1254 (Me. 1997).
The trial court was not required to value marital property in accordance with the husband's personal financial statement when he testified about the value of the property at the divorce hearing.
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MARYLAND: Strauss v. Strauss, 101 Md. App. 490, 647 A.2d 818 (1994).
Reliance on testimony of the wife's expert regarding the value of good will for the husband's oral surgery practice was error, because the expert did not isolate the personal components of the good will value of the practice.
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MISSISSIPPI: Christopher v. Christopher, 766 So. 2d 119 (Miss. Ct. App. 2000).
The husband and the wife could be equal contributors to the marital property, even though they did not work equally.
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MISSISSIPPI: Prescott v. Prescott, 736 So. 2d 409 (Miss. Ct. App. 1999).
The valuation of retirement benefits should take into account the period of the marriage. Only part of the retirement funds are marital property since the marriage covered only part of the employment period.
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MISSOURI: In re Marriage of Below, 8 S.W.3d 233 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999).
A trial court is required to designate the couple's property as marital or separate before dividing the marital property.
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MISSOURI: Wright v. Wright, 1 S.W.3d 52 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999).
The husband's stock purchase and savings plan and pension plan were not valued at the time of the trial, thus requiring remand. The division of property need be equitable, but need not be equal.
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MISSOURI: Gendron v. Gendron, 996 S.W.2d 668 (Mo. Ct. App. 1999).
The wife was entitled to a fraction of the husband's military retirement pension that was equal to the amount accrued during the marriage.
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MISSOURI: In re Marriage of Gustin, 861 S.W.2d 639 (Mo. Ct. App. 1993).
Valuation of property must be reasonably proximate to the date the property division becomes effective; if the effective date of the distribution is not reasonably proximate, the trial court must hold another hearing to establish a current valuation.
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MISSOURI: Ray v. Ray, 877 S.W.2d 648 (Mo. Ct. App. 1994).
When valuing equity in the marital home, it is not appropriate to deduct a hypothetical real estate commission unless there is some indication that the house may be sold in the near future.
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MISSOURI: In re Marriage of Eck, 904 S.W.2d 60 (Mo. Ct. App. 1995).
The trial court's failure to designate property as marital or nonmarital was reversible error.
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MISSOURI: Bullard v. Bullard, 969 S.W.2d 880 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998).
Where the husband and wife were each awarded one-half of their total stocks, the trial court's failure to value the stocks did not make the property division unjust.
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MISSOURI: Morgan v. Ackerman, 964 S.W.2d 865 (Mo. Ct. App. 1998).
If the effective date of the property distribution is not reasonably proximate to the date when valuation evidence was submitted, the trial court must hold another hearing to establish current property values.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of Hollow, 2001 MT 308, 2001.MT.0000414 (Mont. Dec. 31, 2001).
The question presented here was whether the lower court erred by assigning no value to the couple's business. In this case, the couple was married in 1976 and separated in 1999. The husband had a Bachelor of Arts degree in secondary education and at the time of the appeal taught at the Riverside Girls Correctional Facility in Boulder, Montana.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of Neal, ___ Mont. ___, 884 P.2d 789 (1994).
The trial court erred when it valued the family farm by treating as a liability the operating loan debt without also adding in the value of the in-ground crops created through that debt.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of McNellis, ___ Mont. ___, 885 P.2d 412 (1994).
The husband was estopped from changing his testimony concerning the value of a family investment, where he had all along asserted that the property was worth a certain amount but then sought to revise his estimate at trial.
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MONTANA: In re Marriage of DeCosse, ___ Mont. ___, 936 P.2d 821 (1997).
The valuation of stock set forth in a shareholder's agreement is presumptively the real value of a shareholder's interest in a closely held corporation if the shareholders have employed an acceptable method of valuation and there is no evidence that the valuation was undertaken in bad faith or for the purpose of avoiding marital or debtor/creditor responsibilities.
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NEBRASKA: Dormann v. Dormann, ___ Neb. App. ___, 606 N.W.2d 837 (2000).
The husband's stock in the company where he worked should be considered in determining the division of property. However, a vehicle that the husband acquired after the couple separated was not part of the marital estate.
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NEVADA: Alba v. Alba, ___ Nev. ___, 892 P.2d 574 (1995).
The trial court's valuation of personal property, based on an averaging of the values assigned by each party, was not an abuse of discretion.
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NEW MEXICO: Barnes v. Shoemaker, ___ N.M. ___, 868 P.2d 1284 (Ct. App. 1994).
Modification of an order distributing retirement benefits is improper, even though the original order was based on erroneous projections, since there was no evidence that the error was the result of a postdecree event or otherwise could not have been anticipated.
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NEW YORK: Grunfeld v. Grunfeld, 94 N.Y.2d 696, 731 N.E.2d 142 (2000).
To avoid double counting of income, the value of the husband's law practice could not be fully distributed as a marital asset without a corresponding adjustment of the maintenance award, and the valuation of the law practice at the date that the divorce action commenced, rather than at the date of trial, was appropriate.
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NEW YORK: Kraeger v. Kraeger, ___ A.D.2d ___, 706 N.Y.S.2d 471 (2000).
The marital residence did not become marital property where its increase in value was primarily due to market forces and inflation, but the husband was entitled to one-half of the amount of the actual value added by improvements to the residence.
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NEW YORK: Finkelstein v. Finkelstein, ___ A.D.2d ___, 701 N.Y.S.2d 52 (2000).
The husband's investment accounts had to be valued as of the time of the trial, and a capital loss carry-forward that was accumulated by the couple, which could be used to reduce tax liability, constituted a marital asset subject to distribution at divorce.
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NEW YORK: Charland v. Charland, ___ A.D.2d ___, 700 N.Y.S.2d 254 (1999).
The trial court's valuation of the marital residence and the husband's business for purposes of equitable distribution was not an abuse of discretion.
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NEW YORK: Kerzner v. Kerzner, ___ A.D.2d ___, 694 N.Y.S.2d 49 (1999).
A business solely owned by the husband was properly valued as of the date of the commencement of the dissolution action.
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NEW YORK: Vicinanzo v. Vicinanzo, ___ A.D.2d ___, 598 N.Y.S.2d 362 (1993).
Trial court could value husband's solo law practice without the aid of expert testimony by averaging his annual earnings, but should have excluded an unusually large, nonrecurring fee from its calculations.
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NEW YORK: Burns v. Burns, 84 N.Y.2d 369, 618 N.Y.S.2d 761 (1994).
The wife's proof of the value of the husband's interest in his law firm partnership should not have been limited to the value of his capital account, and she should have been allowed discovery to evaluate the value of his interest.
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NEW YORK: Maddalena v. Maddalena, ___ A.D.2d ___ , 629 N.Y.S.2d 463 (1995).
The trial court did not err when it chose a valuation date two years after the action was commenced where the couple had several times tried to reconcile after the divorce action was filed.
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NEW YORK: Hilts v. Hilts, ___ A.D.2d ___, 669 N.Y.S.2d 720 (1998).
The husband could not complain about the trial court's failure to value specific items given his inadequate testimony about his finances.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Edwards v. Edwards, ___ N.C. App. ___ , 566 S.E.2d 847 (2002).
The trial court erred by valuing the marital estate as of the date of separation. The statutory concept of divisible property requires the court to also value the parties' property as of the date of distribution. The trial court did not err in awarding each party a portion of land surrounding a hunting lodge, where neither party had the resources to pay the other's interest, even if division in kind prevented either spouse from using the lodge as income-producing property.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Hamby v. Hamby, No. COA00-151 (N.C. Ct. App. June 5, 2001).
In this case, the couple married on February 27, 1988, separated on August 17, 1995, and divorced on December 19, 1996. The couple had two children born within the marriage. Before the marriage, the husband had worked as an insurance agent. Shortly after the marriage, however, the husband became an independent contractor with the insurance company, opening his own office.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Offerman v. Offerman, ___ N.C. App. ___, 527 S.E.2d 684 (2000).
The equitable distribution action regarding the couple's closely held corporation arose before the 1997 amendments to the Equitable Distribution Act, and, thus, the court had to identify the property of the couple, determine the value of the property on the date of the separation, and distribute the property.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Sharp v. Sharp, ___ N.C. App. ___, 449 S.E.2d 39 (1994).
The trial court did not err when it valued the husband's partnership interest in his law firm by adopting a valuation methodology that averaged the result of several different methodologies, where the wife had not presented evidence of an alternative methodology or valuation.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Carlson v. Carlson, ___ N.C. App. ___, 487 S.E.2d 784 (1997).
The trial court did not abuse its discretion by utilizing national salary statistics to calculate the goodwill component of the husband's medical practice.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Grasty v. Grasty, ___ N.C. App. ___, 482 S.E.2d 752 (1997).
The trial court did not err in failing to value the husband's interest in a business, given the lack of credible valuation evidence, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in failing to appoint an expert to value the business; however, without being valued, the business could not be distributed in the parties' equitable distribution proceedings.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Carlson v. Carlson, ___ N.C. App. ___, 487 S.E.2d 784 (1997).
The trial court did not abuse its discretion by utilizing national salary statistics to calculate the goodwill component of the husband's medical practice.
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NORTH CAROLINA: Grasty v. Grasty, ___ N.C. App. ___, 482 S.E.2d 752 (1997).
The trial court did not err in failing to value the husband's interest in a business, given the lack of credible valuation evidence, and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in failing to appoint an expert to value the business; however, without being valued, the business could not be distributed in the parties' equitable distribution proceedings.
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NORTH DAKOTA: Moilan v. Moilan, 598 N.W.2d 81 (N.D 1999).
The valuation of retirement benefits must be considered at present value, and the division of such benefits at the time of the divorce is the preferable course.
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NORTH DAKOTA: Kaiser v. Kaiser, 555 N.W.2d 585 (N.D. 1996).
The value of the wife's interest in a closely held corporation did not have to be determined with a minority discount of more than 11.3%.
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NORTH DAKOTA: Fisher v. Fisher, 568 N.W.2d 728 (N.D. 1997).
The trial court did not err in refusing to apply a minority discount to shares of stock assigned to the wife in the parties' property division.
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OHIO: Young v. Young, 146 Ohio App. 3d 34, 764 N.E.2d 1093 (2001).
Where the trial court made a factual mistake in valuing the marital residence for the purpose of division, the case must be remanded to the trial court for correction of the error. The appellate court cannot determine that the overall division was fair and equitable despite the mistake: That determination is a matter for the discretion of the trial judge.
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OHIO: Haslem v. Haslem, ___ Ohio App. 3d ___, 727 N.E.2d 928 (2000).
The value of the marital contributions toward the marital residence was properly divided by the trial court and was not an abuse of discretion.
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OHIO: Coats v. Coats, 63 Ohio Misc. 2d 299, 626 N.E.2d 707 (C.P. 1993).
A portion of spouse's civil service pension should not be exempted from the marital estate to the extent that it is in lieu of Social Security benefits, but an offset for the value of the other spouse's Social Security benefits may be equitable in some cases.
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OHIO: Donovan v. Donovan, 110 Ohio App. 3d 625, 674 N.E.2d 1252 (1996).
The trial court acted within its discretion by accepting the husband's valuation of a lot over the wife's much higher valuation, where she had previously valued the lot at the lower amount in sworn documents.
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OKLAHOMA: Larman v. Larman, 199 OK 83, 991 P.2d 536 (1999).
The wife's presumptive interspousal gift of her separate inherited real property to the husband can be and was rebutted by evidence. In addition, the husband should be allowed to present evidence of the enhancement of value.
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OREGON: Padgett-Bellegante v. Padgett, ___ Or. App. ___, 7 P.3d 773 (2000).
Did the trial court err in dividing only the appreciation in the value of the marital residence that occurred after the marriage? Did the court properly value the couple's employee leasing business in determining the amount of judgment to assess against the husband?
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Pagano, 147 Or. App. 357, 935 P.2d 1246 (1997).
The trial court did not err in valuing the parties' limited partnership holdings at one-half of the value claimed by the wife and in awarding the holdings to her.
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Batt, 149 Or. App. 517, 945 P.2d 517 (1997).
A marketability discount should not have been applied to the value of the husband's interest in a family farming operation.
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Budge, 150 Or. App. 209, 945 P.2d 1101 (1997).
The trial court did not err in adopting the values reported to the Internal Revenue Service as the value of stock shares gifted to the husband during the parties' marriage.
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OREGON: In re Marriage of Pagano, 147 Or. App. 357, 935 P.2d 1246 (1997).
The trial court did not err in valuing the parties' limited partnership holdings at one-half of the value claimed by the wife and in awarding the holdings to her.
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SOUTH CAROLINA: Mallett v. Mallett, ___ S.C. ___, 473 S.E.2d 804 (Ct. App. 1996).
Termination benefits that the husband would receive following termination of his contract with State Farm were not marital property, because the payments were intended to replace renewal commissions that he would earn in the future.
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SOUTH DAKOTA: Abrams v. Abrams, 516 N.W.2d 348 (S.D. 1994).
It was reasonable for the trial court to deduct hypothetical sale costs when valuing the marital home.
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SOUTH DAKOTA: Abrams v. Abrams, 516 N.W.2d 348 (S.D. 1994).
Even if the sale of the marital home were not immediately contemplated, it was reasonable for the trial court to consider the net value of the home to the party who received it.
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TEXAS: Tschirhart v. Tschirhart, 876 S.W.2d 507 (Tex. Ct. App.-Austin 1994).
Courts cannot take judicial notice of property values in a spouse's sworn inventory and appraisement submitted in a divorce action.
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TEXAS: Rafferty v. Finstad, 903 S.W.2d 374 (Tex. Ct. App. 1995).
The characterization and the value of property are not ultimate issues and therefore need not be set out in findings of fact.
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TEXAS: Collins v. Collins, 904 S.W.2d 792 (Tex. Ct. App. 1995).
The husband should not have been permitted to testify as to the value of his business, where he was not listed as an expert witness and had denied during depositions that he would be rendering valuation testimony.
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TEXAS: In re Marriage of Wade, 923 S.W.2d 735 (Tex. Ct. App. 1996).
Termination benefits that the husband would receive following termination of his contract with State Farm were community property and should be valued as of the date of the divorce, taking into account the husband's years of employment as an agent prior to the marriage.
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TEXAS: Hill v. Hill, 971 S.W.2d 153 (Tex. App. 1998).
The trial court did not have to make additional valuation findings on numerous items of personalty because those findings would concern evidentiary, rather than ultimate or controlling, issues.
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VERMONT: Dreves v. Dreves, ___ Vt. ___, 628 A.2d 558 (1993).
Whether or not letter from husband's attorney conceding value of parties' home should have been admitted, husband would not have been estopped from arguing a lower value for home.
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VIRGINIA: Shackelford v. Shackelford, 39 Va. App. 201, 571 S.E.2d 917 (2002).
The price paid in a prior purchase of a 50% interest in a business was not evidence of the value for divorce purposes, because the price included a substantial control premium and was therefore greater than the fair market value.
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VIRGINIA: Rowe v. Rowe, 33 Va. App. 250, 532 S.E.2d 908 (2000).
The husband's sale of stock for more than four times the valuation accepted by the trial court required a revaluation of the price at the time of marriage and divorce.
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VIRGINIA: Stumbo v. Stumbo, 20 Va. App. 685, 460 S.E.2d 591 (1995).
The equitable distribution decree had to be reversed where the trial court had not made necessary findings to determine which assets and debts were marital and which were separate, the values thereof, and the rights and equities of the parties in the properties and debts.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of Moore, ___ Wash. App. ___, 993 P.2d 271 (1999).
Dissolution decree awarding one-half of the community interest in a pension to be disbursed in the future created a property interest in the pension, not a lien against the pension, such that the wife was entitled to the disbursement value of her share at the time of distribution rather than its value at the time of the decree.
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WASHINGTON: In re Marriage of Jennings, ___ Wash. 2d ___, 980 P.2d 1248 (1999).
The reduction of the husband's military retirement benefits was an extraordinary circumstance justifying the reopening of the couple's dissolution decree.
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WEST VIRGINIA: Mayhew v. Mayhew, ___ W. Va. ___, 519 S.E.2d 188 (1999).
The wife appealed to have the appreciation in value of stock judged marital property. The court had to determine which part of the appreciation was active appreciation and which was passive appreciation.
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WEST VIRGINIA: Tallman v. Tallman, ___ W. Va. ___, 438 S.E.2d 853 (1993).
The trial court erred by accepting the valuation figures of a court-appointed expert who was not a certified appraiser, had limited training in the real estate business, could not articulate the correct standard for establishing "market value," and had never set foot on the property he was appraising.
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WEST VIRGINIA: Durnell v. Durnell, 194 W. Va. 464, 460 S.E.2d 710 (1995).
When valuing the husband's medical practice, it was necessary to subtract taxes that would be owed on the accounts receivable and current expenses payable on the date of valuation.
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WISCONSIN: Ayres v. Ayres, ___ Wis. 2d ___, 602 N.W.2d 132 (Ct. App. 1999).
The wife's claim that the appreciated value of company stocks given to the husband was attributable to his efforts on behalf of the company was not supported by the record.
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WISCONSIN: Forester v. Forester, 174 Wis. 2d 78, 496 N.W.2d 771 (Ct. App. 1993).
Trial court did not adequately explain why it decided to exclude business debts from its valuation of husband's solo law practice.
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