LITIGATION – “I am Going Through a Divorce” – What to Know When Deciding on an Appraiser.

The process of going through a divorce can be a emotionally draining and challenging period.  It is very important to have a high comfort level with not only your legal team, but  also with your appraiser, in the event that marital assets require division.  Choosing an appraiser with experience in matters of litigation is very important, as many firms do not specialize in this discipline.

The 3 primary elements a client should be comfortable with are:

1.) Does the appraiser understand my marketplace and possess geographic competence.

2.) Does the appraiser have experience as an appraiser in matters of potential litigation.

3.) Does the appraiser have experience as a testimony witness in court and/or deposition.

Most clients will tell us upon engaging our services that “we do not think our case will actually go to court”.   We approach every marital dispute as though it will eventually entail us appearing in court.  We take extensive measures to prepare an accurate and defensible appraisal report.  While every client has a budget when engaging an appraiser, fee alone should never be the sole determinant in selecting an appraiser for this type of assignment.  A skilled appraiser who possesses the necessary experience in a deposition and/or court appearance can be a crucial element in this process.