Attorney Information

Property Division

The division of marital property can be one of the most important and complicated issues of a divorce. No document prepared for a divorce settlement is more crucial than an appraisal of the couple's marital property. How else can there be an equitable distribution of their possessions?

Yet despite the importance of a professionally prepared divorce- settlement appraisal, the average person's chances of obtaining such a report are as poor as their chances of winning a lottery. The reason is simple. Personal property appraising is an unregulated profession. Anyone can call themselves an appraiser regardless of education or training.


Put simply, an appraisal is a valuation of property by a person knowledgeable about appraising. The key word in this definition is "knowledgeable." An appraisal offers a reasoned opinion of a defined type of value, as of a given date, supported by facts gathered in the appropriate marketplace. A value is not a value just because an appraiser says so. It is supported. Unfounded opinions of value should be treated as such.


Appraising isn't merely, familiarity with the various types of property needed to be valued. Just because one has collected, traded or sold the things they are appraising doesn't make that person an appraiser. Product knowledge is, of course, important. But it is just one component of the appraisal process. As important is the familiarity with the markets in which the items being valued are regularly bought and sold. Last, but far from least, appraising requires familiarity with the various intended uses for which the appraisal is needed. Each intended use makes its own specific demands in terms of market research.

Using Auction Values

Many appraisers, without hesitation will use an auction sale to determine an items fair market value. Auction values are a good indication of value when preparing an appraisal for the intended use of liquidation. But, when preparing a fair market value appraisal, the appraiser must use caution. There are many things that have to be considered first. For example, both dealers and consumers attend auctions. The prices dealers pay cannot be used to determine fair market value because they are going to resell the items to consumers. There are many other considerations also involved before you can consider an auction sale price as fair market value.

Appraisals By Chuilli

Specializing in divorce-settlement appraisals that stand up in court!

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Appraisals By Chuilli ♦ 403 S. Mission Street ♦ Wittenberg, WI 54499 ♦ 715-297-2457