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Why you’ll need an appraisal in a divorce after a long marriage

There are so many complications involved in a high-asset divorce that many people overlook some of the most important steps. Making sure that you get a fair outcome requires that you understand your household’s financial circumstances and the value of your assets.

With the exception of investment accounts or a business, your home is probably the most valuable asset that you and your spouse acquired during your marriage. Every month, you likely send a significant portion of your pay to the lender who financed the purchase. Between taxes, insurance expenses and the mortgage itself, you probably feel confident that you know what your home is worth. However, property values have increased steeply in recent years.

Charlotte’s real estate market is one of the hottest in the state, with properties currently commanding premium prices. Neither the assessed value provided by your local tax authority nor the purchase price reflected by your mortgage represents the current fair market value of your property. Bringing in an appraiser can help determine what your home is actually worth.

An appraiser can look at the details of your home and the local real estate market

Putting a price on a home is a complicated process which is why there are educated professionals that do so for a living. Appraisers understand how to evaluate the condition of crucial systems in a home, ranging from the foundation to the furnace. They also understand how to look at the local real estate market and determine what other properties have a comparable value to your home.

Both the accurate assessment of the property and the analysis of the local market are crucial to setting a fair value for your home. The amount that you finance could be tens of thousands of dollars lower than what the property could command on the current market. Even if you don’t intend to sell the home, knowing what it’s worth is crucial so that you can ask for your fair share of its equity or other aspects of substantial value in the property division process.

Knowing the value of marital property is the first step to a fair divorce

The only way you can advocate for your own best interests is if you know what assets and debts your household has and how to push for your fair share of them.

Reviewing your household financial circumstances and familiarizing yourself more with North Carolina’s laws about property during divorce can help you figure out the best way to handle complex property division.