Valuing a home in a Maryland divorce

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Property Division on Wednesday, March 13, 2013.

Maryland readers may have taken interest in a recent discussion about the ways in which people going through a divorce can find out the value of their home. A home is typically among the most valuable marital assets of a divorcing couple, so it is important to make sure the home's value is properly accounted for in the process of property division.

The most tried and true method for determining a home's value is to hire a professional appraiser. A licensed appraiser can provide a reliable assessment of the property's worth. An professional assessment may be especially important if it has been several years since the home has been appraised, since property values can change rather dramatically over time. The downside of an appraisal is that it is more expensive than other methods, and it may take some time to get an appraisal scheduled depending on the level of activity in the local real estate market.

Other valuation methods include doing a comparative market analysis, which is not as comprehensive as an appraisal but can still get ballpark figures. Another way to value a home is through self-research, but this is not recommended unless the parties will be able to agree to the figure they reach.

Of course, some couples might not want the house at all. Upkeep expenses can be extremely costly and the practicality of keeping a marital residence, not to mention the emotional aspects, might make selling the house or letting an ex have it seem like a more attractive option.

Every divorce is different, so being prepared to make the decision that makes the most financial sense is important. Courts strive for equitable division, but having an experienced family law attorney on your side can mean getting the most value out of your share of property division.

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