In addition to paying attention to the law and the qualities and the quantities of their property and debts, it is also commonly necessary for parties to make determinations of valuation dates in ascribing value to their assets and debts, particularly for retirement accounts, debts being assumed, home equity values, and the like. Most states hold that the presumed date of valuation for property and debts is "the date trial" unless there is some other compelling date, such as a date of the parties' physical separation or some other date that the parties effectively separated their finances.
It is common for the parties to adopt more than one valuation date for their property and debt division. For some assets and debts, the date of the parties' separation or a date of convenience, such as the last account statement or end of a year or quarter statement, may be utilized. For other assets, such as a marital home to be sold in the future, it may make sense for the parties to finesse any present determination of value, knowing that a true value will be determined when the home or other jointly held asset is sold. If parties differ in their suggested dates for valuation, they are being positional and may be assisted to identify the interests and principles that are motivating them.