In Virginia, a couple that chooses to divorce must divide up its marital property so that each partner leaves the relationship with an equitable portion of the total. Virginia follows the principles of equitable division when it comes to divorce-based divisions, which means that property divisions must be fair but not necessarily equal. In order to determine fairness with regard to the amount and value of property each person takes from their shared marital wealth, items of property may be subject to valuation assessments.
At its most basic level, valuation concerns how much money an item is worth. Items may have different values to different people; for example, a work of ark may have a monetary value of $10,000 but may have a much higher intrinsic value to its owner. It is important that individuals understand the value of their property before they are forced to divide it up between themselves and their soon-to-be exes.
In order to determine an item's value, it may be appraised. An appraisal is an assessment by a qualified person to determine the cost of an item. Individuals often have their homes appraised to see if they can lock in lower mortgage rates, but any item of property may be appraised in order to determine what it should fairly be valued at by someone knowledgeable about its market.
Couples that choose to divorce may be required to have their property appraised in order to determine its true value. Understanding this complex process can be difficult, but many individuals choose to work with dedicated divorce attorneys to help them work through these and other complications.