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Do I Need an Appraiser in My Divorce Case?

Are you planning to file for divorce in the near future? One of the major points of contention and disagreement in many Chicago divorce cases is the classification and distribution of marital property. If you own any items or assets that you believe have a high market value, it is likely a good idea to include an appraiser in your divorce case. While it may be easy enough to determine the current market value of certain assets without the help of an appraiser, other assets will require expertise. The following are some of the questions you should ask yourself as you consider whether to hire an appraiser in your divorce case. Of course, your Chicago divorce lawyer can help you to determine the best course forward.

Do You Have Property with a Significant Market Value?

If you own property with significant market value, you will want to ensure that it is properly valued. Depending on the type of property, you may need to have it appraised. Tangible property and real estate may require an appraisal given the way in which market values shift. An appraiser can examine various aspects of the property and can determine a likely current market value.

What is Appraised Recently? How Recently?

You may have had your property appraised recently, but even so, it may be necessary to get a more recent appraisal. While some types of property will not shift substantially in value over a short period of time, other types of property can change in value based on the market. For example, if you own a painting and the artist has become extremely desirable in the last couple of years, the market value of the painting may have increased significantly in even a year’s time. At the same time, you may have purchased something only a few years ago that has actually decreased in value based on market demand.

An appraiser can give you an estimated value that aligns with current market considerations, which can be extremely important if you need to sell the asset and divide the profits.

Does Your Spouse Have an Appraiser?

Even if your spouse has an appraiser—and in fact, especially if your spouse has an appraiser—it is important to hire your own appraiser and to get another opinion. While an appraiser is supposed to be neutral in theory, you should keep in mind that your spouse or your spouse’s legal team will be compensating that appraiser, and the appraiser’s valuation of a high-value piece of marital property ultimately could be skewed in favor of your spouse. By hiring your own appraiser, you can get a better sense of the accuracy of any other appraisals. If your appraiser values an asset much differently from your spouse’s appraiser, the court may take the average of the two appraisals, or you may have other options for valuing the asset or assets.

Contact an Experienced Chicago Divorce Attorney

If you have questions or concerns about property valuations in your divorce case, it is essential to get in touch with an experienced divorce attorney in Chicago who can help. One of the advocates at the Arami Law can speak with you today about how property is classified and valued, and what steps you can take to ensure an equitable division of marital property. Contact us today for more information.

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