Can A Coin Toss Decide A Divorce?

Without question one of the most contentious parts of any divorce case is who gets the kids, what the visitation schedule will look like, and how much child support will be paid. A close second to this issue is that of how property is distributed when a couple unties the knot. The law requires that all marital property be divided among the parties fairly and equitably. This does not mean equally, but rather the Court will consider what is fair in relation to the specific facts of the case at hand. When a marital estate is comprised of high value assets, or contains unique pieces of property, the question as to how to equitably divide these assets becomes complex. In fact, it can sometimes seem like the decisions are made without any more thought than is given to flipping a coin.

In one recent celebrity split, the idea of flipping a coin has been “tossed” around in the media as a play on words, but the asset in question was very real. Eva LaRue, set to star opposite Bob Saget on the Full House remake, Fuller House, was required to split up a coin collection when divorcing Joseph Cappucio. The distribution called for the following:

  • An equitable distribution of the rare coin collection.
  • Each party got 160 coins from the collection once the dust settled.
  • Other provisions of the property distribution settlement included awarding LaRue a lump sum of cash while Cappucio retained certain tangible property items.

When a couple acquires rare pieces of property, such as the coin collection in LaRue’s case, or perhaps valuable antiques or pieces of art, special consideration must be given when negotiating the property distribution. The goal is to give each party a fair share of their jointly acquired assets, and on paper this does not always look equal. The key is to look to the total value of the split rather than the number of items divided. And, in some cases a cash payment is required to be made in order to make up for the difference in the value of items awarded one party over the other. If you have questions about how your marital estate should be divided, call us for answers.

 

Let us put our experience to work for you. Call The Sampair Group in Phoenix and the West Valley today for more information about divorce.