Using a Joint Appraiser in your Placer County Divorce

by | Aug 19, 2013 | Firm News |

In many Placer County divorces, parties have assets that are of disputed value.  Sometimes the dispute in asset values comes from lack of knowledge by one or both spouses.  However, if there is a dispute over the value of the community property item, it is appropriate to hire appraisers to establish a professional opinion of the item in question.  As Placer County divorces can be expensive, and parties are trying to minimize unnecessary costs.  Thus, it may be beneficial for the litigants to agree to hire a joint appraiser.

The benefits of having a joint appraiser in Placer County divorce are as follows: First, they are a good way to save money.  Instead of each party hiring their own appraiser, and then having their appraisers argue in court over the value of the asset, stipulating to one appraiser and sharing the fee has financial appeal.  Also, if the parties can agree on an objective and knowledgeable expert, they are more likely to trust the results.  Second, they can avoid having their individual experts dueling it out in court.

There are disadvantages to hiring a joint appraiser in Placer County divorces.  First, the expert is neutral and does not favor either party’s side.  Thus, each party cannot count on the expert taking their side as they could if they had solely hired their own expert.  Some parties find this fact frustrating because they want the expert to be on their side.  In cases where there is a business being evaluated, the expert will spend additional time with the business-owner spouse and this can leave the other spouse feeling underrepresented or left out of the process.

Second, the communications of both parties with the expert are not protected by any legal privilege.  Any information either party shares with the expert is available to the other side.  Some Placer County divorce litigants may find this trade-off unacceptable as they wish to have an expert with whom they can share confidential information.

If you are involved in a Placer County divorce case and there are asset valuation issues, please consult with our Placer County divorce attorneys today.  We offer a free half-hour consultation for interested potentials so please give us a call today.