Business and House Appraisal For Divorce

By Sherrie C. Smith November 18, 2019

Family Law

Woman conducting a house appraisal for divorce.

The Importance of Business and House Appraisal For Divorce

Aside from the emotional difficulties involved in a divorce, how do you untangle a life that has been built as a couple? It is one thing to divide up furniture, dishes, and garden tools, but what about your home or your business?

In North Carolina, the equitable distribution laws presume that an equal split of marital assets is equitable. How do you determine what is equal? First, you must value all your marital assets to see what your marital estate looks like

That is why your attorney will advise you to get an appraisal of your home, as well as your business if you are a business owner. Once you have appraisals of your largest assets, then you can get a better idea of how to divide your assets. If the parties still cannot agree on how to divide the marital assets, then the judge will use those appraisals to aid in valuing the property and subsequently entering an order on equitable distribution.

House Appraisal for a Buyout or Sale

If one of the spouses wants to stay in the marital home and take over the mortgage payments, an appraisal can be used to facilitate the buyout of the other spouse’s interest. A house appraisal for divorce is used to prevent unnecessary haggling over the fair market value of the house and provide the parties with real numbers.

If the best option is to put the home on the market, the parties will have to agree on an asking price. Typically, the parties will take the recommendation of their realtor when deciding on a listing price; however, an appraisal can also help determine an appropriate listing price for the home would be without bringing contentious emotions into play.

Business Ownership and Divorce

If one or both spouses own a business and it was created or grew during the marriage, then the business will likely be considered a marital asset and subject to division by the court. During a divorce, it is not uncommon to see some attorneys and parties undervalue or exaggerate the value of a business, but there are ways to keep this from happening.

Business Valuations

You can hire an expert to place a value on the business. Your business will likely be compared to other businesses that are similar to yours. Your revenue history and cash flow may also be evaluated to help determine an accurate market value for your business. The expert will need to view the company books, value the company assets, and potentially interview the business owner to arrive at an accurate valuation supported by competent evidence.

Experts in Court

Sometimes two or more experts are hired to appraise property or to value a business. Each party may have his or her own expert(s) to use for trial purposes. Then, it will be up to the judge to determine whether either expert is credible, and whether the judge can use those appraisals and valuations to place a value on property or a business.

Contact an Experienced Family Law Attorney Today

If you are facing a divorce, or thinking about getting a divorce, and you own a home and/or a business, you may be wondering how such a large asset can be divided. The attorneys at Helms, Robison, Lee & Bennett, P.A. can help you understand how assets are divided during a divorce and explain how an appraisal could help you in your equitable distribution case. Contact us today.

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