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The Benefits of Hiring a Professional Appraiser During Divorce


Every Florida divorce requires the division of a couple’s assets. For those whose marriages were relatively short, who have prenuptial agreements in place, or who don’t own particularly rare or uncommon assets, this process often proves to be relatively straightforward. Couples with a high net worth or who have been married for many years, on the other hand, often struggle with the process of dividing their property in an equitable manner.

One of the best ways to help this process go as smoothly as possible is to obtain a reliable valuation of all of one’s assets from a professional appraiser. If, however, the valuation of a couple’s assets is sloppy or conducted by a non-professional, a couple could face significant delays and additional expense when trying to end their marriage. For help ensuring that you and your spouse will have the best possible chance of avoiding these pitfalls, please call an experienced Florida property division lawyer who can advise you.

Valuing Real Property

The process used to place a value on an asset during divorce will depend largely on the type of asset in question. Professional appraisers who assess the value of real estate, for instance, typically use one of three approaches when assigning a value to a piece of property:

  • The replacement cost approach, which is usually only utilized for commercial property and involves determining how much a company would have to pay to replace an existing asset at current market value;
  • The income approach, which uses the income generated by a property to estimate its value; and
  • The fair market value approach, which is the most common method of appraisal and involves identifying sales of similar properties in the area and then determining market value based on those numbers.

For many couples, the family home is their most valuable asset, making it especially important for divorcing couples who own real property, to speak with an attorney about how to fairly divide that asset.

Valuing Artwork, Antiques, and Other Unique Assets

The appraisal process is particularly important when attempting to place a value on unique assets, like artwork, antiques, or collectibles. In these cases, a couple can choose to hire a single appraiser to value their pieces, although it is not uncommon for both individuals to obtain separate valuations and then try to negotiate a value between the two. This value will then largely dictate how a couple divides this type of asset. Some couples, for instance, merely choose to sell the property and divide the proceeds equally. When there is a more emotional or personal connection to an asset, on the other hand, one of the party’s may agree to keep certain assets in exchange for others of roughly the same value.

Insurance Policies and Stocks

Divorcing couples can often get a good idea of the worth of certain assets on their own. The value of a life insurance policy, for instance, can often be discovered by reaching out to the insurer itself, while the value of publicly traded shares can be determined by using the stock market index. If, however, shares are part of a more complex investment portfolio, a couple will probably still need to obtain the assistance of a Certified Public Accountant or other expert.

Set Up a Free Consultation

To speak with dedicated Fort Lauderdale property division lawyer Sandra Bonfiglio, P.A. about your own Florida divorce and whether you’ll need the assistance of a professional appraiser, please call us at 954-945-7591 today.





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