Mississippi Divorce Attorney Explains the Role of Home Appraisal in Divorce Cases

The marital home is often the most valuable asset that is owned by divorcing couples. Mississippi courts divide property equitably, or fairly, in divorce cases. It can be challenging to come up with a fair way to dispose of an asset which is likely to have more value and personal significance than any other asset that a couple owns. Couples are free to create property division agreements that address the issue of the marital home in any way that they see fit. There is one thing, however, that no couple should forego when considering their options regarding the disposition of their marital home.

A current appraisal is essential for any couple that must decide the disposition of their marital home as part of their divorce. Appraisers do far more than estimating a home’s fair market value. They research the legal issues associated with the property, including the chain of title and whether there are any liens on the property. They take a close look at the property, by visiting it and checking on its size, condition, and other attributes, and then they search the neighborhood for comparable properties that have recently been sold. An appraiser takes all of the information that they have collected and analyzes it in order to calculate the value of the property.

Since spouses who are divorcing have interests that are opposed to each other, it is important that each spouse get his or her own appraisal done. In cases where finances are very tight and only one appraisal is feasible, the couple should select the appraiser together and be present together when the appraisal happens. It may be tempting to try to save some money by foregoing the appraisal and using a real estate agent to perform a competitive market analysis instead. It is not a good idea to do this, as competitive market analyses do not include the level of detail that an actual appraisal does, nor does it include the legal and financial research that is part of the appraisal process.

One common mistake that divorcing couples make during the appraisal process is trying to influence the conclusion of the appraiser. It is understandable that each party wants the appraisal to come back with a value that is favorable to them, especially since they may be in a position where one spouse wants to buy out the other. Despite the natural tendency to want to nudge the odds in your favor, it is best to refrain from doing anything to try to influence the appraiser’s decision. Answer questions honestly, and let them do their work. Appraisers are professionals who are held to high ethical standards. As such, they are obligated to ignore outside pressures so that they can provide an objective assessment of the home’s value.

If you are planning to get divorced in Mississippi, the disposition of your marital home is just one of the issues that you will have to address. Your Mississippi Divorce Attorney can explain the Mississippi divorce laws as they apply to your particular situation, and they can help you resolve your divorce in a way that works for you. To find out how Mississippi Divorce Attorney Matthew S. Poole can help you navigate the divorce process, please call our office today, at (601) 573-7429 to schedule a free consultation.

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Mississippi Divorce Attorney Explains the Role of Home Appraisal in Divorce Cases
Mississippi Divorce Attorney discusses how home appraisals assist in determining house value in Mississippi divorce cases.