Valuations for Family Law Disputes

A separation of a marriage or de-facto relationship can be messy, especially when it comes to determining a just and equitable split of shared assets and/or property. Prior to determining a fair division, both parties to a separation will typically request a joint valuation of assets. A joint valuation will minimise the likelihood that one party receives more than what they are entitled to by determining the fair and current market value of an asset.

Three things to consider when obtaining a valuation for a Family Law Dispute

The right valuer for a family law dispute must demonstrate three characteristics: knowledge, thoroughness and impartiality. Due diligence should be taken to ensure you have the right valuer who is well equipped and able to perform a valuation for a family law dispute. Employing the services of a suitably competent valuer will help streamline the division of assets in both mediation and court. Employing the wrong valuer may result in wasted time, effort and money, especially when the output of the valuer is scrutinised in a legal setting. The wrong valuer may also result in the unfair division of assets or property. So how can we determine if a valuer has the right characteristics for the job?

  1. Knowledge. It stands to reason that a valuer needs to be qualified to perform a valuation for a family law dispute. Firstly, determine if the valuer is accredited. A valuer for a family law dispute should be accredited by either the Australian Property Institute, the Australian Valuers Institute or the Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors. To obtain the requisite accreditation from one of the aforementioned peak bodies of the valuation industry, the valuer would have undertaken training and study to gain an understanding of correct valuation methodologies. This training will also help a valuer with the interpretation of market evidence and trends, as well as an understanding of professional standards in the industry.

Secondly, determine the experience of the valuer. An experienced valuer will know how to apply the theoretical knowledge of valuation methodologies in a real-world setting. An experienced valuer should be able to see the small nuances and detail that an untrained or inexperienced person may miss that can have an impact on the value of an asset or property. To help determine the experience of a valuer, ask for his or her resume and whether they have personally performed many valuations for family law disputes.

2. A valuer should examine all aspects of an asset or property that may impact on its value. Prior to a valuer undertaking a valuation of a property or asset, ask if the valuer can provide a template of a valuation report that can be used for family law court purposes. The report should make mention of all the attributes that contribute to the value of the property such as (but not limited to) the size of the block, size of the dwelling, improvements, condition, location, the market conditions and the underlying zoning. The reports also include the necessary searches that need to be completed including title searches, strata plans and deposited plans among others.

3. A valuer for a family law dispute should determine the value of an asset or property on their own without the undue influence of another party. A valuer should assume a natural bias from both involved parties of a family law dispute. His or her expert opinion should be reinforced by objective interpretations, market evidence and data rather than the opinion of an involved party. Evidence of bias or partiality on behalf of the valuers part may result in the valuation being void for a family law dispute. And as joint valuations are scrutinised by both parties and their legal representations, the likelihood that biases will be exposed is significant.

Other considerations

It should be noted that a valuation report provides the expert opinion of what a valuer expects is the current market value of an asset or property. Given that the value prescribed by the valuer is current, it may not be valid after a period of 3-6 months (potentially earlier especially if there are significant market shocks, or later if market conditions remain stable). If legal proceedings for a family law dispute persists for a lengthy duration, multiple valuations may be required that will revise an existing asset or property valuation. Revised valuations should encompass new developments or trends in the market.

Why choose us?

Here at Vanguard Valuations, we take special care to understand your needs and how to achieve them. This includes investigation into a wide range of resources and asking the right questions to ensure we achieve the best results for you

Due to our extensive knowledge and utilization of premium valuer resources essential to accurate property valuation, our reports are produced efficiently, transparency, and with the utmost level of care.

Vanguard Valuations can provide accurate and reliable valuation reports on all manner of properties including houses, units, commercial and industrial, rural, and development sites. We cover a large length of the east coast, including capitals of Canberra and Sydney, as well as all rural areas, Wollongong, Western Suburbs, Sutherland Shire, North Shore and Northern Beaches, Hawkesbury, and the Central Coast.

To enquire about a Pre-sale or Pre-purchase property valuation report for all property types, please call us today on 1300 359 886 or contact us with your property valuation requirements and we will get back to you as soon as possible.

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