Don’t overlook the importance of valuation in property division

There comes a point in time in many individuals’ lives where they would do just about anything to escape the emotional burden associated with their marriage. But this rush to dissolve a marriage can have you overlooking some of the most important financial moves of your life. If divorce legal issues like property division, spousal support, and child support are overlooked or only dealt with a glancing blow, then your financial well-being can take a significant hit.

This is why valuation of your most prized pieces of personal property is of critical importance. If you rush your property division, you might end up giving up a work of art or family heirloom that is worth thousands, perhaps even tens of thousands, of dollars more than you expected. This can result in your property division being unfair. Yet, by the time you find out, everything is finalized and you’ve been taken advantage of.

Don’t let that happen to you. Instead, you should know how evaluation of a piece of property should occur and be prepared to argue accordingly. In the art world, for example, it’s fairly common for both parties to hire an appraiser who then determines the fair market value of the work based on industry standard pertaining to appraisal practices.

What is key to recognize, though, is that pieces of art and personal property are only as valuable as the market says they are. Therefore, the timing of the appraisal can have a significant effect on the final determination of its value. Also, given the subjectivity involved in appraisal practices, you’ll need to be prepared to argue why your appraisal is more accurate than that of your spouse’s. This may require you to address the processes utilized as well as the education, training, and experience of each appraiser.

Dealing with the property division process in a high-asset divorce can be challenging. But there’s too much at stake to simply trust your instincts. You need strong advocacy on your side to best position yourself for the outcome you desire.