At Weinberg & Cooper, LLC, in New Jersey, we understand how complex a divorce can be when spouses own personal property that has significant value. It is often not as simple as you and your spouse agreeing it is fair for each of you to keep your personal property. If your spouse’s antique furniture is worth four times the value of your art collection, your spouse should allow you to keep other assets to balance out the difference.

According to the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, the best way to avoid unfair property division is to hire a professional appraiser who has experience valuing the type of item in question. 

There is no official government license for appraisers, so you cannot simply look up a list of licensed professionals. However, there are professional associations such as the American Society of Appraisers that provide certifications, so appraisers affiliated with such organizations are likely to be qualified.

Certification is not the only qualification of the appraiser you want on your divorce team. You also want someone who is willing to testify as an expert witness in court. If your spouse challenges the values your appraisers place on property, you need a credible professional to stand behind the dollar amount on your asset inventory. 

Other factors that give credibility to your appraiser in the eyes of the court include the methods of evaluation and the standards used. The Appraisal Foundation has authorization from Congress to provide appraisal standards through the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice, so it is important to ask appraisers whether they use these before welcoming them to your divorce team.

More information about the professionals who may collaborate during the asset division phase of your divorce is available on our webpage.