You may have seen the fairly new television series on Bravo titled “Untying the Knot”. It features a prominent divorce mediator helping couples split up their joint assets.
As part of the process, appraisers are brought in to value the personal property. The level of value may vary slightly by state, however in California the appropriate level is “Fair Market Value”. For television purposes, the appraisers are verbally reporting the values. In real life, a written appraisal report must be provided. It is important to choose an impartial and credentialed appraiser who may be called to testify at formal mediation or court.
In most cases, property owned prior to the marriage is separate and retained by the individual. Individuals with large collections or family heirlooms may want to consider having their items documented and appraised as part of their pre-nuptial planning.
As an appraiser, I cannot give legal advice. Please consult a professional attorney.
“What Should I Know about Divorce and Custody?” from the State Bar of California
Divorce or Separation from the Judicial Branch of California Courts
About the Author:
Kathi Jablonsky, ISA CAPP is a certified appraiser of personal property designated in Antiques and Residential Contents with the International Society of Appraisers. She is based in Southern California and serves the San Diego and Palm Desert regions.