Chicago, IL Divorce Appraisals

The home is the most valuable asset in many divorce cases. During the divorce process, couples should make sure that they obtain an accurate value for their marital property when divided between both parties.

Couples typically have two options: They can sell the property and divide the proceeds, or one can pay a settlement to the other if one decides to retain the property. In both cases, an appraisal is necessary.


Getting a Divorce Appraisal for Marital Property

two gold wedding rings

If a couple plans on selling their home and dividing the profit, an appraisal is needed to figure out a maximum listing price and set a specific limit for the amount of time the home will appear in real estate listings.

If either spouse wants to keep the home, they need a certified real estate appraiser to provide an appraisal before a judge can decide on a settlement. The person responsible for covering the appraisal fee is determined either through a court order or an agreement between the couple.

Finding a Professional Consultant

Courts may require a current real estate value appraisal, retrospective value appraisal, or both. These requirements mean that couple should locate an appraiser with experience in both areas to prevent this from presenting an issue.

A judge may want to have both a retrospective appraisal and current appraisal to determine if the current value of the real estate is accurate.

Expert Appraiser

An appraiser who can work in both areas is capable of providing the courts with clear and supported information without the need for multiple appraisers.

With 35 years as an expert witness in the divorce courts of Illinois, Rick Hiton and Associates offers unsurpassed level of service. However, couples may decide to hire two appraisers, one for each party, which a majority of divorce lawyers recommend.

Going Through the Divorce Appraisal Process

The divorce appraisal process itself begins with a baseline value, which the appraiser determines based on real estate sales data from nearby homes. Then the appraiser visits the couple’s home for a final evaluation.

Appraisers typically look at the condition of the home, age of the roof, appliances, and mechanical systems. Renovations and more minor upgrades also factor into the final determined value.

If there is a disagreement with the appraisal, couples can either ask the court for permission to turn to another company, or if two appraisers are present, a third is hired to further evaluate the home.

Chicago Lawyers Help Decide the Home’s Value

After the appraisal is reached, the court or out-of-court lawyers can decide if the couple agrees on the home’s value. Then a listing agent assists with pricing the home and putting it on the market based on the appraisal.

To help avoid the appearance of a divorce or separation, couples may be able to stage the home.

When both divorcees still live in the home, they need to come to a mutual agreement about when potential buyers may view the home. Once a potential buyer makes an offer, both parties must agree whether to accept or reject it.

Dividing the Money

When a sale is made, the couple pays a commission to their agents and divides the sales money according to the final divorce terms.

For more information about the divorce appraisal process and to get started on an appraisal in the Illinois Chicagoland area, call Rick Hiton & Associates today at 1-847-897-9332 or contact us online.