You and your spouse may want to get through the divorce with as little conflict as possible. However, the two of you may have very different ideas about what is fair when it comes to dividing your marital property.
We often advise couples to get professional appraisals to learn the true value of their property before they begin to negotiate.
Inventory and research
The first step is identifying everything you own and determining what needs an appraisal. For example, the value of your vehicles may be easy to discover using online research. You may be able to find a dollar amount online for some other personal property, as well, or at least to conclude whether the potential value justifies the cost of a professional.
Some items, such as artwork, collections and antiques, may have a financial value far above the sentimental value you already hold for them. Others, such as real estate and investments, are subject to market fluctuations and tax consequences that make a professional appraisal essential.
Once you have a list of dollar amounts, it may be easier to separate your feelings from the objects and focus on your financial future. You can decide what you cannot part with and what you are willing to negotiate and evaluate whether your spouse and ultimately, a judge, will agree that it is fair. An obvious imbalance is a signal to re-evaluate your list of priority assets. Your preparation will also protect you from accepting an unfair proposal from your spouse.
More information about professional valuations is available on our webpage.