If you are currently going through a divorce—particularly a contentious one—you are likely worried that you won’t receive your fair share of the marital assets. Your family home may need to be divided, and you want to know just what it’s worth in order to know what you may have coming. This is a stressful period in your life, and most of those going through a divorce are understandably worried about finances. Your spouse may be claiming a figure for your marital assets which simply seems too low.
If this is the case, it is time to speak to your divorce attorney about getting a professional appraiser involved, in order to ensure real estate and other items of worth are properly valuated. The attorneys at The Law Place have the necessary resources to assist you in finding a reputable appraiser during your divorce. We can also petition the court later on for the cost of the appraiser to be paid by your spouse, or at least split 50/50. Our attorneys are trustworthy and experienced in all aspects of family law, making your divorce at least a bit easier.
Appraising the Family Home
In fact, no judge can accurately divide your marital assets without knowing just what those assets are worth. In some cases both spouses will hire an appraiser, making the process even more difficult should those appraisals come back with a significant difference. When appraising the marital home, the appraiser will visit the property, asking you questions about the house. The appraiser will want to know any special circumstances surrounding the house—does the roof need replacing, the plumbing updated or the carpet changed out? The appraiser will take measurements, take a look at attics and basements, and do a visual inspection of the exterior of the home, the roof and the landscaping.
The appraiser will be looking for any features or adverse conditions which will justify a higher or lower value of the home as compared to the surrounding homes in the neighborhood. While you may feel your wine cellar adds value to your home, the appraiser may or may not agree with that assessment. Once the appraiser has all the necessary information about your marital home, it will be compared with at least three similar properties in your area which have sold within the past six months. Your home will be compared to these comparable properties, using the number of bedrooms and bathrooms, square footage, general condition and any added amenities.
A final, professional analysis will result, known as the appraisal. This will be the market-based value for your home—and the number the judge will work off of when dividing the home or offsetting the value of the home with other assets. If you and your spouse both hired an appraiser, and the values are significantly disparate, testimony will be taken in divorce court regarding the appraisals, and the judge will listen to the opinion of each appraiser, making a final determination. In some cases the judge will add the two differing values, dived by two and reach a final value of the marital home.
Appraisers may be called in to value other items besides the marital home. Expensive jewelry, artwork, collections, boats, vacation homes, and any other items for which the value is in dispute can benefit from the services of a divorce appraisal. Such an appraisal can keep the division of assets above-board as well, ensuring both spouse receives his or her fair share. If you feel your divorce could benefit from the services of a professional appraiser, speak to an attorney from The Law Place. We truly care about you and the issues you are facing during your divorce and will never let you navigate uncertain waters on your own.