With every divorce comes the contentious issue of dividing the marital assets. In order to fairly divide your assets, you must first accurately appraise their value. With pieces of real estate, such as the family home, it is crucial to get an official real estate appraisal if you want an accurate fair market value. Regardless if one of you intends to retain the home and buy out the other spouse’s share or sell it to divide the proceeds, an accurate appraisal is an essential component of an asset division.

Depending on the circumstances, a comparable market analysis done by a real estate agent may be sufficient. A comparable market analysis estimates your home’s value in relation to similar houses on the market. These may be free of cost, but you may need an official appraisal if you want an accurate figure. The cost of an official appraisal can be anywhere from a few hundred to a few thousand dollars, but it is often an investment worth making to have peace of mind over the real value of your home. Divorce mediators and attorneys often work with trusted appraisers who have the experience needed to testify in court, and who can produce an appraisal report sufficient for the purposes of a divorce. Obtaining an appraisal report from a certified appraiser can settle the conflict over the value of the home. If you and your spouse cannot agree on an appraiser, each spouse may commission his or her own appraisal. If the judge will ultimately be deciding on the value, he or she may rely on both appraisal reports to come to an accepted figure.

Once you have a fair market value assessment of your home, there are other factors you may need to consider when working out a division of the asset. For example, the method through which you transfer ownership of the house may affect the value. Or, the current fair market value of a home may not reflect the long-term financial considerations that come along with either the sale of the house or the buy-out of one spouse. Consider working with an experienced Massachusetts divorce mediator if you have concerns about dividing real estate in your divorce. Working closely with a divorce mediator skilled in complex asset division can help ensure your real estate is accurately appraised and divided in a way that is financially advantageous to you now and in the future.

If you have questions or concerns about asset division in your divorce, Mediation Advantage Services can assist you. Experienced in divorce mediation, Law Office of Polly Tatum can help you value and divide your assets fairly. Based in historic Worcester, our firm serves all cities and towns throughout Massachusetts and Worcester County including, Auburn, Paxton, Leicester, Sutton, Grafton, Shrewsbury, Westboro, Northboro, Southboro, Holden, Sterling, Princeton, Worcester, Charlton, Millbury, Dudley, Spencer, Brookfield, Sudbury, Natick, Framingham, Hopkinton, Milford, Blackstone, Leominster, Fitchburg, Acton, Jefferson, Barre, Oakham, Cambridge, Newton, Marlboro, Lancaster, Bolton, and Hudson. Call our office at (508) 466-4734, fill out our online form, or email us at info@mediationadvantage.com today to schedule your Complimentary Mediation Success Planning Session. You can also sign up for our eNewsletter or download our free guide for more information regarding divorce in Massachusetts.