real estate appraiser

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.

Continue Reading Courts Can’t “Split the Baby” When It Comes to Dueling Appraisals

I just completed a 10 or so day trial (really a binding arbitration).  Why did it take so long?  Were there complicated valuation issues? No.  Complicated alimony issues? No.  Custody issues?  No – custody and parenting time were already settled. 

The answer in large part was one party’s bad faith and need to extract a pound of flesh.  He did not get his pound of flesh and while we await the decision, I doubt he will receive satisfaction there either?

Some examples of the nonsense.  The case started in 2006 when real estate was at its height and the marital home was appraised by a joint appraiser in early 2007.  The case lingered and trial did not start until the fall 2009.  Despite the fact that the law is clear that homes are valued at the date of distribution, the husband opposed a new appraisal.  Why – as every knows, real estate values were going down.  Since he knew that the wife wanted to keep the house, he was trying to use this to his advantage.  Due to the delays, the wife had to get an updated appraisal in January 2008 when the was originally supposed to occur.  She had to get another one in August 2008 before the trial started.  The husband held out and opposed using the joint appraiser, costing the parties more money for experts and then wasting a day trying the issue of the value of the home.


Continue Reading Trial Is An Expensive Way To Get Your Pound of Flesh