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The Role Appraisers Play in Your Divorce
The Role Appraisers Play in Your Divorce

When you file for divorce, one of the issues that must be addressed is how to divide your real and personal property. This is often a highly emotional and complicated process. When the divorcing couple is unable to agree as to the value of certain assets, it often becomes necessary to hire an appraiser to determine the value of the real (land or home) or personal property (artwork, jewelry, etc.).

Although no two divorce cases are the same, there are a few general steps most appraisers take:

  • It must be established what asset(s) the appraiser is required to value and why the appraisal is necessary.
  • The appraiser creates a strategy for performing the appraisal and how to best calculate the value of the item(s). This may involve preliminary research, inspections and other processes to assist in calculating the final value.
  • An appraiser should also analyze whether the asset is rare, an antique or a collectible, which would increase its value. This involves looking at other similar types of property to make comparisons.
  • The appraiser will also need to collect information regarding the available market for the item in assessing its value and ability to be sold.
  • Finally, the appraiser will determine the value of the assets. If a cost approach is used, the value is based upon the amount a buyer would be willing to pay for the item. A market comparison approach assigns the value of the asset based upon what is comparable to the market value of similar property. Finally, the income approach looks at what revenue will be generated by the asset (such as rental property that will earn an income in the future).

If you are involved in a high asset divorce, it is important to understand that having an appraiser can help ensure you receive a fair share of the marital assets. All types of complex assets can be appraised, including businesses. Failure to obtain an accurate valuation of certain types of property can result in a significantly unequal division of the marital assets, as well as negatively impact the order for child support, alimony, and the recovery of attorney’s fees.

If you are concerned that your spouse is going to misrepresent the value of assets or not be forthright regarding her income, contact us as soon as possible for help.

Men often find it difficult to find a divorce attorney who understands the unique male perspective on family law matters. If you are facing divorce or you have other family law needs, our legal team is here to help. Contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm to schedule a consultation with a caring professional, and aggressive advocate for men’s rights in divorce, child timesharing (custody), and paternity matters.