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Tips for valuing personal property during your divorce

The idea of having to divide your assets and property can seem daunting and overwhelming. This can be especially true with regard to valuing your assets and property, which can be contentious, confusing and tedious.

However, if you keep a few tips in mind as you navigate the valuation process, you may find it easier to get through.

Tip #1: Know what needs to be evaluated

Make lists of all the marital property that needs to be divided. Include everything from your house and cars to your computer and furniture. If you have questions regarding whether an item is eligible for division, talk to your attorney.

Tip #2: Don't expect to be a financial expert

Some assets are very difficult to appraise. Thankfully, you don't have to figure out the value of a business, a patent or a comic book collection on your own. For these complicated items, you can refer to a financial professional who can appraise a complex asset.

Tip #3: Be realistic

Property including household items is generally going to be worth less than you paid, and sometimes much less. Don't inflate value because of sentimentality or because you think something should be worth more. Be realistic about the value of your property. As a guide, you can refer to the current market values by looking at Craigslist or other sales sites. You might also think about how you would price an item if you sold it at a yard sale.

Tip #4: Be thorough, but don't drag out the process

Set aside a day or a couple chunks of time when you and/or your spouse can go through the house and itemize all the property inside. Don't drag out the process by going through a room now and tackling another room in a week. This can extend an already painful situation, and it can give a bitter ex time and opportunity to take or sell items without your permission.

These tips can make this process a little easier for you to appraise your property, but understand that you do not have to go through this alone. You can work with your attorney to solve problems, assess values and divide property in a manner deemed fair and equitable.

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