Divorcing couples in Texas typically have many important matters to cover in negotiations. Property division can be a contentious process, and accurate valuation of assets is vital. Deciding on what to do with the family residence requires each spouse to know the worth of the house to themselves and to potential buyers. Homeowners may put more value on special features than others would. An accurate market-related value is required, and for this reason, the services of a professional appraiser may be beneficial.
A professional appraisal is typically based on completed recent sales of similar properties in the same neighborhood. It is not uncommon for the individual appraisers hired by the two spouses to come up with different valuations, in which case a judge may require an independent appraisal. Even if both spouses contributed to the mortgage payments, one spouse might have financed home improvements, and a historical appraisal may be required to pursue recompense of those funds. Similarly, the value may have dropped since the property became the marital residence, and a historical appraisal will define the increase or decrease in value. This information may also impact property taxes.
Lastly, it is important to view the property's worth in a realistic manner. Equity is affected by considerations such as the cost of the sale if the residence is liquidated for the proceeds to be shared. Also, capital gains payments may come into play if the property has accrued value more than the exclusion that is applicable to a primary property. There will also be the need to consider expenses related to the maintenance of the residence until the date on which it is sold.
The bottom line is that nothing about a Texas divorce is likely to be easy. Having a divorce attorney on your side with extensive experience in handling property division issues makes good sense. With support from a financial advisor, real estate professional and a qualified appraiser, an attorney may navigate the divorce proceedings in a manner designed to achieve a fair settlement.
Source: realtybiznews.com, "Five Considerations in Establishing a Fair Value of Property during a Divorce", Nov. 23, 2015