If you have never been through the process of a divorce yourself you may not know how, at the end of the day, things are actually decided. For example, how do attorneys or the court calculate how much of a spouse’s pension or 401(k) gets divided? How do attorneys or the court calculate the value of real property? Experts are obtained to appraise assets in order to obtain values. Often parties each get their own experts and their are dueling appraisals. If the parties cannot agree on a value, a court will have to hear testimony from both experts and make the call.
That was an issue that was recently addressed in the published Appellate Division decision of Pansini Custom Design Associates, LLC and Roger Parkin Joint Venture v. City of Ocean City and Patrick Newton and Saving Our Station Coalition, A-2003-07T1, decided May 14, 2009.
Many people who go through the process of divorce own real property. If parties are unable to reach an agreement as to the value of real property owned so as to determine how much each may be entitled to, how does the issue get resolved? Typically, the parties may either retain a joint real estate appraiser or each obtain their own real estate appraiser who will create an appraisal. In the latter scenario, the result may be competing real estate appraisals and values. If no resolution is reached among the parties and the issue is left to a court to decide in a trial, the importance and validity of these real estate appraisals will be tested.
There are experts available on nearly every topic if you look hard enough. In family law, real estate experts abound. Many attorneys have their “go to” experts or others who may solicit them for business. No matter what, whatever expert is involved in your matter should be selected with thought and consideration to the specific facts of your case and the ultimate goals of the clients they work for.