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Determining property values during a divorce

When a couple in Illinois decides to get a divorce, they must decide how they will split marital property. Part of determining how to divide their joint assets may depend on how much they are worth. The first step toward getting a property valuation is having an independent appraiser give his or her professional opinion. It is possible that both spouses will get an independent appraisal, and different experts may have differing opinions as to a home’s value.

The features of a home may have an impact on its value. For instance, if a property has two bedrooms or a master suite that no other house in the neighborhood has, this could increase its value. However, a special feature may not always increase a home’s value. Specialized additions such as a greenhouse or a swimming pool may be seen as a burden by the home’s next owner.

Both parties should consider the costs of maintaining the property as well as any fees that may be incurred when the property sells. Capital gains and other taxes could also cut into the equity that a spouse may be banking on after the home is sold. Therefore, these expenses should be part of the appraisal process when deciding on a fair value for a real estate asset.

During a divorce, property division may become a contentious issue. A lawyer might be able to recommend an appraiser who could come to a fair and reasonable assessment on real estate and other property values. Legal counsel may also be able to review any existing prenuptial agreementto determine if it will play any role in the property division process.