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Identifying and Valuing Personal Property in Divorce

Identifying and Valuing Personal Property in Divorce

When getting divorced, there is often a division of assets and property. Dividing these pieces of property can often be heated between the spouses, as they may have certain ideas of what they want, as well as the value of different pieces of property. Examples of personal property that would have to be divided in a divorce might include things such as jewelry, collections, artwork, guns, classic cars, etc. These tend to be items that have a substantial amount of value, as well as some that might hold personal connections.

Work with a Professional Third-Party for Cataloguing and Valuing the Property

The family court is not properly equipped to divide this type of property. In circumstances like that, it can often be beneficial to get accurate lists of property and values, which can make things easier.

Therefore, working with a third party can help to ease this burden. They can provide the information that’s needed. Let’s look a bit closer as to why working with a third party for property valuation can be valuable for those going through a divorce.

These companies do not take sides in the case, as they have no stake in the outcome. Instead, they are merely there to look at and examine all of the pieces of property in question and then to provide them with an accurate value.

This type of process will typically start with an inventory of the items, which will include photos of each piece of property. This is important for several reasons. In some cases, people may attempt to inflate the value of pieces of property. Other times, they might not know the true value of the items they own, and they could be worth far more than what was initially thought.

By cataloging the items and having them valued, it provides a clear and accurate picture of the value of the personal property. Working with a third party is also beneficial because it means that they have no stake in the divorce or the property. They are simply there to provide the value, so the couple or the courts can more easily decide how to divide the property fairly.

Most of the time, people do not have enough information about the value of different types of personal property. As mentioned, some might overinflate the value of items because of a lack of knowledge or because of emotional attachment. These attachments will often mean that someone might put more value into some items than they deserve. Property shouldn’t be separated based on emotion alone. It can lead to someone getting a raw deal when it comes to divorce.

The attorneys and the courts can’t be expected to know the value of the property. There are too many different types of property, not to mention changing values for certain types of items. Working with professionals is always a good idea. However, you do need to be sure you are working with a quality company that can assess the types of property you own. Sometimes, a general appraiser might not have accurate information for all of your items. In those cases, you need a third party that can bring in appraisers for those goods.

Professional Assessments from Specialized Appraisers

As mentioned, a third party that can catalog the items and value them is essential. However, you want to make sure the company being used is capable of providing accurate assessments for the specific types of items that you own.

Most of these companies will bring in professional appraisers that specialize in the specific types of property being appraised. For example, if someone has a collection of muscle cars from the 1960s, they will bring in an appraiser for those vehicles. If someone had a collection of jewelry, they would bring in a specialist that knows jewelry, and so on.

Having professional appraisers helps to ensure that the most accurate values are provided. This information will be required when the property is being separated.

When it comes to the separation of the property, it could happen in several ways. In some cases, the actual property might be separated. One of the spouses will receive the jewelry, the other will get the cars. One gets the furniture and the other gets the antique furniture collection.

However, one of the other ways that the property could be separated is by getting the total value of the fair market price for the property. They could then sell off all of the property and split the proceeds on the sale. Naturally, when this occurs, the fair and accurate value of the property must be discovered before the sale.

When choosing a company that hires appraisers for the property you own, it is always important to make sure they don’t use those same appraisers to help sell your property. There could be a conflict of interest in those cases.

Why Documentation and Photos Are Important

One of the first things that the third party can do when helping couples who are going through a divorce is to provide full documentation of all of the property that will need to be divided. By providing a catalog of the property complete with photos, it will ensure that neither of the spouses is trying to hide any property or sell it without the other knowing.

Sometimes, one spouse might want to keep a certain item and will try to hide it. Other times, someone might know that something is valuable, and they will attempt to sell it without letting their ex-partner know. They will keep the proceeds and then claim that they don’t know what happened to the items. A catalog with photos can help to prevent this from happening.

Always Have a Great Attorney

When you are going through a divorce, whether you feel it will be amicable or not, you should be sure to have a good attorney on your side. Just as you want a company to value your property that knows and understands the types of goods you have, you need an attorney that understands you and has your best needs in mind.

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