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Valuation of Your Home During a Divorce

Posted on in Divorce

'Who gets the house?'

This is one of the most commonly asked questions during a Dallas divorce, and honestly, we cannot give you a straight answer until we know what your house is worth.

A house is a marital asset just like a bank account, vehicle, jewelry, artwork, or any other marital possession obtained during the course of a marriage. As such, it needs to be valued and divided as any other marital asset would be. Unfortunately, one cannot split a house into two, and so more often than not, the marital home is sold, and the earnings distributed equally amongst the two parties. Otherwise, one spouse may retain the house, but the other will receive the house's worth in other marital assets.

It is extremely important that a house is valued correctly in a divorce, as it is often one of the most valuable assets that a couple owns. Because of this, our divorce attorneys recommend becoming acquainted with the basics of valuation methods for real estate in divorce, and to familiarize yourself with the role that an appraiser will play in the overall division of assets process. At the Clark Law Group, we educate our clients on the valuation process so that they may be sure that they receive a fair assessment of their home, and therefore, obtain a just settlement in their divorce.

Valuation Types

Whether you and your spouse own a home, a condo, a time-share, or even a mobile home or trailer, a real estate appraiser will approach the valuation of your home in one of three ways:

  • Market or Sales Comparison Approach: This approach compares your home or property to the value of other similar homes or properties in your area that have recently sold. The appraiser will look at the average sale price of homes in your area, and then compare your home's qualities and downfalls to those of the comparable properties.
  • Capitalization of Income Approach: This approach is generally used for investment properties, and is based on the net income that a home or property is expected to generate. In order for an investment property to be properly divided, a present worth must be determined.
  • Cost Approach: The cost approach method for valuation assumes that no reasonable individual would buy a home without first considering what it would cost to buy the land on which it sits and to build a home with equivalent appeal and use. If a home appraiser utilizes this method, they must also account for depreciation of the home.

Why the Valuation of Your Home is Important in Divorce

Because Texas is a community property state, a judge is required to obtain the fair market value of any and all marital assets before he or she distributes them evenly and justly amongst the parties. Real estate appraisals are the only way to receive a valuation of an asset such as a home, and therefore, are necessary to the division of assets process.

Speak with a Dallas Divorce Attorney

At the Clark Law Group, our Dallas divorce lawyers are familiar with the valuation process during divorce, and can ensure that you and your spouse get nothing but a fair appraisal of your home from a professional appraiser. Divorce is complex, and can cause a lot of confusion; one thing you do not want to be unsure about is the value of your home. Contact our Dallas divorce law firm at 469-906-2266 to speak with an attorney regarding the valuation of your home today.

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