The Wrong Way to Value Stock for Purposes of Equitable Distribution

Alan R. Burton Attorney at Law

In a dissolution of marriage action, the court is required to identify all the marital assets and to establish the value for those marital assets.

Stock is just one example of what might be considered a marital asset in a divorce case.  Stocks which are traded routinely on an exchange have a value that is easily determined.  What do you do however when you are dealing with stock in a privately held company, or stocks commonly referred to as penny stocks?  How do you go to go about valuing these types of stocks?

Bring your valuation experts to court, and present their full testimony.  For certain, a trial judge should not make a finding of value until all the evidence has been presented to the court regarding valuation.  Additionally, if both parties to the proceeding offer evidence of differing valuations, it is not appropriate for a court to take an average of the two conflicting valuations in order to assign a value to the stock.

This is precisely what the trial court did in the case of Tucker v. Tucker, 171 So3rd 158 (Florida 4th DCA 2015).  On appeal, the trial court was reversed.  The appellate court stated that “a trial court’s property valuation must be supported by competent, substantial evidence.”  The court referenced, in support of this principle, the case of Garcia v. Garcia, 25 So3rd 687 (Florida 4th DCA 2010).

When a court takes an average of two different valuations, the stock valuation was not not supported by competent, substantial evidence.

Florida law clearly prohibits the valuation of marital assets by splitting the difference between two  different valuations.

If you have a question regarding the valuation of your assets, you are entitled to a full and complete hearing to present all of the evidence that you have associated with the valuation of the particular asset.  The same holds true for the other party.  Anything short of a full evidentiary hearing may very well likely lead to a reversal on appeal.

Further information regarding valuation issues of marital assets can be obtained by calling experienced Boca Raton divorce attorney Alan R. Burton at 954-295-9222

Client Reviews

Alan R. Burton is a good human being but truly a great lawyer. Alan R. Burton took my very weak case but with his dedication and smartness Alan R. Burton ended up winning it for me and most important Alan R. Burton won the case with 0% tolerance for lies and 100% for truth. I’m simply convinced with...

Amer A.

"Alan Burton represented me on a tough child support case. He was extremely professional, aggressive and ethical in the courtroom. He is very honest and knowledgeable. I would highly recommend him for any case, no questions asked. Thank you Mr. Burton for all of your help and support through this...

Abigail A.

"As a single working mother of two young children, I totally appreciated Alan's flexibility to E mail and to converse by phone. There were times I could only respond or ask questions regarding my case well after 6 P.M. and Alan always made himself available to suit my schedule. Alan is a single dad...

Stephanie C.

"I give great pleasure in writing this review for Mr. Alan Burton. He was a tremendous help in resolving my foreign divorce/child custody case. Very competent, knowledgeable and always available; day and night. I am located in the Middle East and had a very complicated divorce/child custody case...

David A.

"As any devoted parent who loves their children, imagine the thought of your children being abducted by another parent. The feeling of not knowing if you will ever get them back, the anxiety of court proceedings, and a possible International custody battle. This is something I would never want any...

Stefan B.

Get in Touch

  1. 1 Free Consultation
  2. 2 40 Years of Experience
  3. 3 Speak Directly to an Attorney
Fill out the contact form or call us at (954) 229-1660 to schedule your free consultation.

Leave Us a Message