How do appraisers assess the value of assets in a divorce?

When a divorcing couple has a lot of valuable assets — particularly collections, works of art, intellectual property and the like — the property division process can get very complicated. 

There are times when it’s necessary to bring in outside professionals to help, like an appraiser. They can aid you and your ex in reaching an agreement about the value of your assets.

Strategies appraisers use to assess the value of your assets

Appraisers may use any number of approaches to assign values to your assets. 

One option is to perform a comparative market analysis (CMA). Appraisers often use this with real estate, but it can also be applied to other hard-to-value or rare items. Appraisers look at similar items and assess the vitality of the market for such items in order to come to an estimate of an asset’s worth.

Another approach that appraisers use is called a “cost approach” method. With items that are fairly common and easy to replace, this can tell you exactly what it would cost today to acquire or replace the asset.

The future revenue model cost approach is used most with assets that were acquired as investments, and it involves estimating how much wealth that asset will eventually generate.

An instance in which a family business may call for an appraiser to look at their company’s financial records includes recent revenue increases, assets, debts, and profit margins to determine its value. 

How to divide up hard-to-value assets in your divorce

Property division is one of the major hold-ups to settling divorce negotiations. It doesn’t have to be, though. 

Most experienced family law attorneys will have the sharp negotiation skills necessary to broker a settlement in your case. They’ll also have the right professionals, such as appraisers, to call upon if they encounter impasses along the path so that you can wrap up your case. 

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