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Valuation of Secured Debts Upon Divorce
(Provided by National Legal Research Group, Inc.)

It seems obvious that the court cannot determine the fair value of an asset without subtracting the value of any liens or other secured debts which encumber the property. But cases still arise in which the trial court is reversed for failing to subtract liens. One recent decision involved a stock-trading account:

Point III argues the trial court’s valuation of the Ameritrade account is incorrect because it did not take into consideration that there was a $9,309.00 loan against the account. The exhibit the trial court relied on in valuing the account, Petitioner’s Exhibit # 31, disclosed that the account was a margin account with an indebtedness of $9,308.55 owed against the margin of the account. The valuation of marital property must be supported by the evidence. Morse v. Morse, 80 S.W.3d 898, 905 (Mo. App. 2002). The trial court did not consider the indebtedness in valuing the Ameritrade account. Point III is granted. On remand, the trial court is directed to consider the indebtedness attributable to the account.

Baldwin v. Baldwin, 109 S.W.3d 247, 250 (Mo. Ct. App. 2003).

Information provided by:
National Legal Research Group, Inc.

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