Divorce Settlement Appraisals - What You Need To Know

A Key Ingredient of Divorce Settlements

Most advice on divorce focuses on the emotional rather than the economic hardship of the situation. That's understandable since divorce unleashes floods of anger, sadness and loss. Nevertheless, your job now is to emerge from your marriage in the best possible financial shape to begin again.

To ensure the strongest start to post-marital life, ex-spouses need to have a fair and equitable distribution of their joint holdings. While sound legal counsel is essential, your attorney will need and depend on a divorce settlement appraisal.

How else can there be a fair, just division of property? Only a trained professional appraiser has the expertise and experience to knowledgeably value the vast array of a couple's belongings. 

A Proven Means for Fair Divorce Settlements

During their years together, married couples don't just acquire shared-use property like cars and appliances. Often husbands and wives live separate lives in terms of interests and hobbies. Those interests lead to sizable personal accumulations by one spouse whose true worth the other cannot gauge. How does the wife know the value of her husband's firearms or tools?

How does a husband know the value of his wife's antiques or collections? Yet these separate possessions often account for the lion's share of value of a couple's marital property.

A divorce-settlement appraisal is crucial to getting a complete picture of a couple's physical wealth. Only a qualified professional personal property appraiser can establish the proper value of their possessions. Such a comprehensive valuation assures both parties in a divorce full, fair compensation when it comes
to dividing their property.

A Two-Stage Journey

Appraising isn't guess work, not when done correctly. Professional appraising is a two-stage process, each with its own rigorous requirements. First comes evaluation and second comes valuation.

Evaluation:   A divorce-settlement appraisal begins by compiling a complete inventory of all valuable possessions acquired by the couple during their married life. This inventory must be accurate and comprehensive.

This involves thorough examination and detailed identification of items.

For instance, two rifles may be the same model, but they may be of different age or vary as to condition and accessories.

The appraiser must take into consideration the value relevant-characteristics that will affect an items value.

Valuation:   Once an accurate inventory and identification has been made, the appraiser determines the value. There is no absolute single value for a single piece of property. To an appraiser, value depends on the intended use of the appraisal.

For instance, a divorce appraisal is different from acquiring insurance coverage or liquidation. So values will vary accordingly.

To determine the appropriate value, the appraiser must be versed in market research methodology.

A Job For Professionals

Given their critical role in reaching fair, equitable division of property, one would think personal property appraisers should be certified and licensed. Think again. Personal property appraisers are not licensed or regulated. Anyone can call themselves an appraiser without any education or training.

So searching for a truly qualified appraiser is extremely difficult. You have to know what you are looking for.

For now, keep the following in mind. Personal property appraising is a special skill that requires training and testing. It isn't enough to have had experience buying and selling the goods that one values. If an appraiser tells you they have been appraising for years, that's no proof of competence. Without proper training and education, they could be clueless about appraising. Fifty years of doing something doesn't mean they are doing it

A Form Of Mediation

Divorce is often seen as the final battle in a long war between two people. So it is understandable that many ex-spouses see themselves as combatantswho want revenge rather than fairness when it comes to a divorce settlement. A professional appraiser cannot afford to take sides. They are not a hired gun. They are a paid expert. The appraiser has an ethical obligation to be independent, objective, impartial and unbiased.

For the good of all, an appraiser is an economic mediator. As such, justice for the appraiser is the fair, equitable distribution of property leading to a fair financial settlement between the parties. Since the appraiser is duty-bound to equity, the appraisal would be the same no matter which side they worked on.

A professional appraiser can help a couple make a clean break after a breakup. The sooner divorced couples can put the past behind them, the sooner they can put the future in front of them.

Appraisals By Chuilli

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

Neutral Party Standby Services

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

Serving all of Wisconsin, the Upper Peninsula and East Tennessee