How to Appraise the Value of Marital Property in a Divorce 

Divorce involves emotional separation and the separation of things the couple owns together. It includes what we call “marital property”. Now, figuring out the worth of these things can be tricky. That’s where appraising the value of marital property comes in. But how do we do it? Let’s answer two big questions to understand this better.

Marital Property

What is Marital Property, and Why Does its Value Matter in a Divorce?

Marital properties is anything a couple buys or gets while married. It can include a house, a car, or even a pet! It can also include things like savings or debts. When a couple gets a divorce, they usually split the marital property.

The value of the marital properties matters because it helps to decide how the property is split or subdivide. It is not always a 50-50 split. Sometimes, one person might get more based on factors like who earned more or spent more time caring for the house. So, knowing the marital property’s value is important to ensure fair division. 

How Can We Determine the Value of Marital Property in a Divorce?

Determining the value of the marital properties can be done in several steps:

  • Identify Marital Property: The first step is to list all the property that counts as marital property. 
  • Gather Information: Next, gather information about each item. It could include things like when it was bought, how much it was bought for, and any changes in its value. 
  • Get Professional Help: Sometimes, it can be hard to determine an item’s value. In such cases, family law coaching can help. They are trained to determine the value of different types of property. 
  • Calculate the Total Value: Finally, add the value of all the items to find the total value of the marital property.

Remember, it’s important to be honest when determining the value of marital properties. It can be tempting to hide or lower the value of an item, but this can lead to problems later on.

What Challenges Can Arise During the Appraisal of Marital Property in a Divorce?

Appraising marital properties in a divorce is not always a smooth process. It can come with various challenges:

  • Disagreement Over Value: One person might think an item is worth more than another. It can lead to arguments and make the process harder.

  • Hidden Assets: Sometimes, a person might hide an asset to prevent it from being included in the marital property. It is not fair or legal, but it can happen.

  • Complex Properties: Some types of property can be hard to appraise. For example, businesses, pensions, or artwork can have values that change over time or are hard to determine.

  • Emotional Attachment: People often have strong feelings about certain items. They might think an item is worth more because it has sentimental value. But in a divorce, only the financial value is considered.

Dealing with these challenges can be tough. But they can be overcome with patience, honesty, and professional help. Remember, the goal is to get a fair property division, and dealing with these challenges is part of the process.

Navigating Property Value in Divorce

Appraising the value of marital property in a divorce can be complicated, but it’s an important step in ensuring a fair split. If you’re going through a divorce, consider getting help from a professional. They can guide you through the process and ensure you’re on the right track. Always ask questions, be honest, and take one step at a time. It will help you navigate this challenging process and reach a fair resolution.

Lachlan Wakefield

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