You expect to downsize as you go through the Illinois divorce process, but that does not mean you are willing to give up some of the personal objects from the family home. In fact, some of these may well be worth going to court over. Determining the value of tangible assets can help you decide whether your attachment is emotional or financial, and whether you should be ready to bargain.
According to the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, one of the major tasks before property division is the inventory of assets. While you are making this list, it is a good time to note factors that may affect an item’s worth. For example, you may include the following information:
- Distinguishing marks
- Date of origin
- Written description
You may be able to identify the value or potential value of some items with a little online research. However, it may be wise to hire a professional appraiser, particularly if you anticipate that your divorce will not be amicable. Having an expert ready to testify as to the worth of your antiques, collections or other items of value may be vital to the success of your settlement.
It is a good idea to seek an appraiser who is certified through a recognized national or international professional group, and who uses the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice. Judges are more likely to agree to the fair market value of an item that has been verified using these standards. Because every divorce is different, particularly when it comes to property division, this educational information should not be interpreted as legal advice.