Valuation of Property
One of the issues that may come up during a divorce is the value of a property. Property is either classified as marital or non-marital. In either’s classification, it is important that the court is provided with the value of the property in question.
How do we assess the value of a property?
“Something is worth only what someone else is willing to pay for.”
In other words, you may believe that an item has a certain value based upon an Internet search or based upon your personal knowledge, but that may not be sufficient evidence to prove the value in court.
What are the methods of proving the value of a property in a divorce?
Agreement. If the parties agree on the value of the item, this step is complete, and you can move to the division of the item. This is the best and cheapest way is to agree upon a value.
Agreed Method for Disagreement. The parties could disagree on the value but agree to “meet in the middle” For example, you believe an item is worth $300 and your spouse things it is worth $100, you could agree to meet in the middle at $200. Once the value is set you can move to diving the property.
Buy/Sell Agreement. This is used when both parties want the property (e.g., the house) and there is not a way to “split the property (like a bank account). The parties agree that one spouse will name a price and the other spouse will then chose to buy the first out of the property or sell to the first party. This is usually a fair settlement when both want to keep property because if the parties cannot agree, they will have to leave everything in the hands of the judge.
Battle of Experts. If the parties have exhausted all settlement options, the judge will have to make a decision. In order for the judge to make a decision, the parties will likely need to present evidence from an expert witness. This will increase both the time and money needed, but sometimes this is your only option if your spouse is unreasonable!
For prompt assistance on your questions regarding valuation of a property, contact an experienced Family Law attorney, call Reidy Law Office today.