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When an Appraiser or CPA May Be Needed in the Property Division Process in Texas

Introduction: Valuation Services are Sometimes Needed in Property Division

The State of Texas is a community property jurisdiction, which means that marital property is divided equally between parties in divorce, absent compelling reasons to divide marital property unequally. In this context, “equal” doesn’t always mean both parties will receive the exact same items, but only that they will receive an approximately equal share of the marital assets. In some cases, for instance, one spouse will be awarded the marital house, while the other spouse is awarded cash (to balance out the marital house award). To ensure accuracy throughout the property division process, financial experts are often needed to provide valuation services. Below are a few instances in which using a financial expert, such as an appraiser or CPA, may be necessary in property division in Texas.

Appraisers and CPAs May Be Needed for Complex Financial Instruments

One instance in which an appraiser or CPA (or other financial professional) may be needed is when complex financial instruments are part of the marital asset portfolio. When a couple has complex instruments, such as stocks or bonds, an expert may be needed to develop an even assessment on value to ensure both parties get their fair share of the marital assets. Depending on the given instrument, an expert may be needed to use the particular methodology for determining value. The value of certain instruments may be open to interpretation, for instance, and so an expert can provide an optimal determination on value.

Appraisers and CPAs May Be Needed for Real Estate

Another very familiar instance in which an appraiser may be needed is when real estate is part of an asset portfolio which can complicate the divorce process, especially when there are significant assets involved. As most real estate owners know, the value of real estate can change very quickly, and a single property can have widely different appraisals at a given point in time. At any given time, a certain appraiser may give an estimate which is substantially higher than another appraiser, and both appraisals may rest on concrete evidence. The reality is that the value of real estate is simply difficult to pin down, because ultimately the value of real estate is based on how much a given buyer is willing to pay. Hence, play a crucial role in determining fair property values during divorce proceedings, ensuring equitable division of assets.

Appraisers and CPAs May Be Needed for Rare Items

Another common scenario in which an appraiser or CPA may be necessary is when a couple owned rare items as part of their marital asset portfolio. For example, when a couple owned items such as rare jewelry, rare coins (such as Morgan Dollars, or Liberty Head Gold Eagles), paintings, antiques, collectibles, valuable artwork, or other similar items, an expert may be needed to give valuation services. Again, as with real estate, rare items such as these may be difficult to pin down in terms of value; the market may fluctuate erratically, or there may be competing interpretations regarding valuation even in relatively stable markets. The key point is that valuation services may be necessary for rare items, because accurate valuations are important with respect to dividing marital property equally.

Contact Goldsberry, Portz & Lutterbie, PLLC for More Information

If readers want more information about the intricacies of the property division process in Texas, or more information about a related topic, contact one of the family law attorneys at Goldsberry, Portz & Lutterbie, PLLC today by calling 281-485-3500.

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