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Get all real estate properly appraised when divorcing

If you and your spouse are divorcing and own property together, whether you keep or sell your holdings, it's vital to get them accurately appraised.

Don't expect the judge in your divorce to be able to assess a value to the family home and/or other properties like vacation homes and rental units. That's out of his or her wheelhouse. You and your soon-to-be ex must hire a fair and impartial appraiser in order to derive the market value of the property.

Appraisals typically rely on comparable sales of properties located in the same community. But unique features of your property could enhance its value considerably.

Many people mistakenly believe that tax assessments can be used in lieu of appraisals. However, this can present an inaccurate fair market value. An appraiser can more accurately reflect the true value of a property on the market.

Also, for purposes of property division in a divorce, it's necessary to deduct the mortgage from the fair market value to determine the equity. Then, there could be very expensive tax consequences, e.g., capital gains taxes, if you are able to sell and make a profit.

This is why it is necessary to retain the services of qualified professionals if you want to get the most value in your community property settlement. Your Maricopa County family law attorney will likely be able to recommend an appraiser who can determine the true value of your shared holdings. This will allow you to get a fair and full settlement so that you can walk away from your marriage with enough assets to begin a new life.

Source: Forbes, "Seven Key Points Divorcing Women Need To Know About Real Estate And Real Estate Appraisals," Jeff Landers, accessed Nov. 10, 2017

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