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How will you divide the thoroughbred in your divorce?

There are many different kinds of assets. For example, perhaps during your marriage, you and your spouse purchased a racehorse. Now you are facing divorce, and the property division phase of the proceedings is coming up.

You both love Speed Demon, so what will happen? How can you divide a horse?

Equine considerations

There are variables involved with any breed of horse. Factors impacting the value of the thoroughbred include the training he has received and the level at which he performs, his winnings and the potential for future earnings.

See him as a business

You should think of Speed Demon as a business. You must find an appraiser who understands this and will consider all the variables in determining a value for the horse. This is the same sort of process that would ensue if you and your spouse had to divide a family business.

Breeding rights

In placing a value on a thoroughbred, the appraiser must also consider rights to the horse’s DNA and any offspring he might have once his racing days are over. One way to “divide” a horse is for one party to own the animal while the other party is allowed a certain number of breeding opportunities annually.

Other options

Once the appraiser has placed a value on Speed Demon, you can look at other options. These are basically the same kinds of options that you would have in determining the future of a family business. You and your soon-to-be-ex can agree to sell the thoroughbred outright and split the profits. One of you could purchase the other spouse’s share and give back something of equal value during property distribution. The final option is to continue as co-owners.

Speed Demon is young and has not run a race yet, but his trainer says he will compete in his first race next year. From then on, the two of you can split any of the race earnings—and daydream about Speed Demon winning the Triple Crown.

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