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Appraisers in Divorce

Hiring Appraisers in a Divorce Case

Legal assistance when deciding whether or not to hire an appraiser

New Jersey is an equitable distribution state. This means that divorcing your spouse will inevitably require a division of assets in a manner that is fair and equal.  Dividing assets requires the court to conduct an assessment of the value of the property that you and your spouse own.  Essentially, you cannot equally divide property without knowing the value of property to be divided.  This process may involve appraisers who will provide a fair market value of the marital property.  An appraiser’s valuation is based on knowledge and expertise in his or her field and it is used to determine the overall monetary value of the marital estate.

Logically speaking, almost everything you own can be assigned a monetary value. The total amount of your assets weighed against your debts gives the court an idea of the total worth of the divorcing couple, which must be divided among the spouses.

At Jacobs Berger we review all of your personal and financial circumstances to provide you with the best representation possible.  We pride ourselves and subscribe to continuing legal education relating to property division and other complex asset division related issues.

Contact us at (973) 447-3943 to discuss your options, help resolve your concerns about asset division, and how we can leverage an appraisers consultation to better understand the entire financial picture in order to make educated decisions and provide proper counsel in your divorce proceedings.

Defining Marital Estate or Property in Divorce Cases

In a marital estate, marital property that is acquired, sold, or retained most commonly during the course of marriage contributes to the overall value of an estate. Marital property is anything that was acquired during the marriage or that was used during the marriage for the benefit the couple and their household. The value of the property is what you and your spouse need to divide and distribute upon divorce.  Many times, the parties in a divorce argue as to how much an item may be worth and a further assessment of the items is needed. An appraiser may be hired to determine the value of an object or property, which ultimately assists in understanding what an objective and trained professional without any emotional attachment to the object would pay for such an item.

Use of Appraisers in my New Jersey Divorce

Appraisers can be hired to value many items, among the most common of which is the marital home. The home appraiser may be enlisted by one or both parties in the divorce to give an objective assessment of the value of the home. The appraiser who evaluates the home will provide a forthright and current market-based price for the home, which may be different from the value to the individuals involved.  The parties can jointly agree to pay for one appraiser or they may wish to hire their own, depending on the unique situation.

Appraising a Home in Divorce

An assessment of the marital home will include looking at other homes in the area and determining the fair market value.  The fair market value of a home depends on the current sales market in the area in which your home is located.  The appraiser will look at the type of home you have, the number of bedrooms, the location, and the condition. Additionally, the appraiser looks at the debt of the home (the mortgage) together with any repairs that may be needed.  These items are deducted from the value to determine a net value, which is then added into the overall tally of the estate.

Appraising Jewelry for Equitable Distribution of Assets

The sum of the estate will likely include many items. For example, jewelry is often appraised during a divorce. So many couples acquire jewelry over time, beginning at the proposal with an engagement ring. After the parties are married, jewelry may be purchased for birthdays, holidays, graduations and special events.  Each item that is purchased may be worth appraising and some may not.  For example, a four-carat diamond ring is worth appraising, whereas a faux cocktail ring from your neighborhood department store is not.  Before spending money on an appraisal, you should evaluate whether or not the items you seek to appraise have an anticipated significant value.

Is it Necessary to Hire an Appraiser for my Divorce?

An appraiser’s expertise may not always be needed, particularly when other modes of appraisal are available.  For example, many people collect cars, trucks, or motorcycles. These items may not need to be appraised but can instead be valued by searching various sites that establish the fair market resale value or “blue-book value.” A person looking for the value may not need any special area of expertise to determine the item’s value.  Your attorney can assist you when deciding whether or not to hire an appraiser.

Contact an Experience Divorce Lawyer Today to Help Guide You Every Step of the way

Logically speaking, almost everything you own can be assigned a monetary value. The total amount of your assets weighed against your debts gives the court an idea of the total worth of the divorcing couple, which must be divided among the spouses. Accordingly, it is essential that the parties make sure to fully understand their total net worth before they can make decisions in dividing the assets.

It’s important that your interests and rights are protected by an experienced attorney throughout these negotiations. Call Jacobs Berger office today to assist in reviewing your case and ensuring that you do not undervalue yourself in the divorce, and identifying if the use of a trained Appraiser is necessary.

If you have further questions regarding divorce or your financial rights, we strongly encourage you to schedule a consultation at our Morristown Office. We can also be reached by phone at (973) 447-3943 or through our convenient online contact form.