Managing equitable valuation of a residence during a divorce

On behalf of Lake Toback Attorneys

During a divorce, one of the biggest decisions Illinois couples make pertains to dividing the assets related to the home. Family law usually offers three different solutions. In any of the three scenarios, the couple will need to accurately assess the home’s value for an equitable divorce.

First, a licensed home appraiser can provide homeowners with an accurate market value. Appraisal costs range from the low to high hundreds. While some homeowners may question the need for these extra expenses, the appraisal can save the person who opts to keep the residence a sizeable chunk of money in the long run. If the couple only considers value based on a tax assessment statement, the person who stays in the home could pay an inflated price in the divorce settlement. The appraiser could value the home for less than the listed worth on a tax assessment. On the other hand, if the residence is actually valued for less than its true worth, the person who stays in the home might lose equity.

Second, a comparative market analysis assesses the value of similar homes in the neighborhood. While less expensive than an appraisal, this method of valuation is also not as accurate as it uses averages of nearby homes to estimate the home’s value. In neighborhoods in which home values vary considerably, this figure can be quite inaccurate.

Third, couples might opt to look online to determine the home value. However, the parties should agree on this solution as it is considered the least reliable method of the three as it assumes that the information listed has been updated in a timely manner, which is rarely the case.

Couples often have questions about the equitable division of assets during a divorce. A knowledgeable family lawyer might be able to offer suggestions regarding home appraisal or other financial issues.

Source: Huffington Post, “Three Ways To Value Your Home In A Divorce,” Joseph E. Cordell, March 1, 2013

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Managing equitable valuation of a residence during a divorce