The Valuation Process: How to Handle Differences of Opinion

New York family lawyerOne of my duties as a New York family lawyer is to assist divorcing couples with deciding how to divide up their marital estate and what items should be counted as part of the marital estate. Often, there is disagreement as to the true value of certain items, especially significant items like a house, and somehow they need to reach an agreement as to how much to valuate something.

Your New York family lawyer will recommend resolving this dispute by amassing evidence pertaining to the value of the disputed item. This process often proceeds in a progression from looking at less credible evidence to more credible evidence.

For example, when conducting the valuation of a house, you and your spouse might employ the following evidence:

  • Each party’s representation states what they estimate the house to be worth. This is not very credible;
  • Market analysis by a realtor. This is more credible;
  • Appraisal by a trained specialist. Even more credible; and
  • Sale of the house. Naturally, this is the most reliable mechanism to determine the true worth of property in the marital estate.

If your divorce proceeds to litigation, your New York family attorney will want to present the most credible evidence possible for your position; in other words, a higher tier of evidence in order to satisfy the court. If your divorce is being handled through mediation, all that is required is for both parties to be satisfied with the evidence.

These questions get complicated. If you are wrestling with how to split up your marital estate, I can help. Call New York family lawyer Donald Wall at 212.695.6008.