One of the most important parts of divorce or separation is valuing and dividing the shared property. This can sometimes be a challenge, but it’s important to get it right. 

Luckily, you’re not in this alone. Expert valuers can help make this process easy and successful. In fact, they can ensure you get the ‘value’ out of expert valuations in family law.


What is a family law property valuation?

A family law property settlement occurs during a divorce or the breakup of a de facto relationship. During a family law property settlement, the couple’s property is assessed to identify the shared and individual property (otherwise known as the ‘property pool’) and how much it is worth. Valuations are a useful tool in determining this.

Almost all property is included in the property pool. It also includes some property that you might not immediately consider to be shared (such as an individual’s superannuation). Assets commonly included in the property pool are:

  • real property – like the family home
  • businesses and companies
  • chattels or personal property
  • money in bank accounts
  • superannuation

The goal of a family law property settlement is to ensure a fair division of the former couple’s property and assets. Of course, getting there is often easier said than done.

[H3]Formula for the division of property

There is no simple formula to divide a property pool. In every case, it depends on the individual and family situation. However, some guidelines apply, which are set out in the Family Law Act 1975 (Cth).

The main focus for valuers who are dividing property is to take into account the needs of each party so they can reach a fair and equitable outcome. To help them do this, each party is required by law to fully disclose their financial obligations during the financial disclosure process. To do that, individuals must understand their financial records and what is included in the property pool. 

But even once you know what to include, how do you know the value of the items? What’s a fair price for the home? What about the cars? This is where an expert valuer comes in. 

Who are expert valuers?

Expert property valuers are third-party valuers whose job it is to value the assets of the property pool to prepare for a division of that property in accordance with the Family Law Rules. Often they are required to carry out a physical inspection of a property to find the market value. Because they are experts, they understand the economy in which the property is being valued and are in a position to find the true market value.

Many expert valuers are also Certified Practicing Valuers (CPV). To be a CPV, you must be registered by the Australian Property Institute.

What do expert valuers do?

Expert valuers will undertake a number of duties in relation to property valuations which will help to determine the market value of your property. Once they’ve decided on the value – an expert valuation – they then provide written reports setting this out. 


How to get the best results from your expert valuation

To get the best results from your expert valuation, choose a valuer with experience in family law matters. They will not only be in the strongest position to help a family in your position, but they will be more familiar with and then sensitive to the intricacies that come along with family matters generally.

In most cases, a valuer is jointly appointed by both parties. This is also generally the best-case scenario. Where both parties agree on the valuer and provide agreed-upon instructions, the entire process is more efficient and less pricey.

However, in some circumstances, each party may also independently appoint their own valuer. Once the individual expert evaluations are made, the parties must take those valuations to the court and seek to have theirs accepted into evidence.

This process is understandably less efficient and more expensive. But it’s occasionally the only option when parties simply can’t agree.


Benefits of an expert valuer

There are a lot of benefits to using an expert valuer, including:

  • Understanding the legal requirements of the Family Court Rules
  • Providing affidavits as required by the Family Law Court
  • Providing valuations quickly and professionally
  • Giving you confidence in your valuations
  • Helping you to achieve a sense of closure post-divorce or separation

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