Property Settlement Valuations

Expert legal advice on getting valuations in property settlement matters

Key Points

In a property settlement negotiation, it is common for parties to obtain a valuation using an agreed expert if an item of property is not agreed. The following items of property are commonly:

  • Houses/investment properties;
  • Commercial property;
  • Chattels (e.g. motor vehicles, boats, jewelry, artwork, and antiques);
  • Plant and equipment;
  • Businesses, companies, partnerships, trusts.

FAQs

Valuations are usually obtained by the parties jointly using a single expert valuer.

To obtain a joint valuation the following process is required:

  • identify the item/s of property to be valued;
  • agree upon an expert registered valuer;
  • prepare a joint letter of instructions to the valuer and provide the valuer with the necessary information/documentation required to enable them to carry out the valuation;
  • attend to access arrangements for valuer if inspection of property or business premises is required;
  • pay your share of the valuation fees;
  • the valuer usually releases the report to both parties simultaneously.

There are a number of approaches available if you do not agree with a valuation. These include:

  • asking the valuer questions (note there are strict timeframes for this process if the matter is in Court);
  • obtain the opinion of your own separate valuer (this is called an adversarial expert if the matter is before the Court);
  • holding a conference between your expert and the joint expert to try to resolve the issue/s in dispute;
  • If your case proceeds to a trial, the single expert is likely to be cross-examined on his or her valuation report.

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