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Alabama residents: how much is your home worth?

For many Alabama residents, the most valuable asset they have is their home. Individuals can spend much of their life saving for and paying off their home. This can make it all the more difficult in a divorce, when parties must decide how to handle the family home, along with the remaining property division.

There are a number of considerations that go into determining who gets the family home. Perhaps at the top of this list is in considering whether there are children in the marriage, and which parent will be the custodial parent. Typically, this individual keeps the marital home.

On the other hand, if a spouse purchased the home separately, that person may be able to keep the family home. Indeed, if there are no children, the court is likely to consider a variety of factors in deciding who gets the home.

Of course, no matter which spouse keeps the home, a primary issue in a divorce is valuation of the house, along with the other property obtained during the marriage. Often, a home appraisal is conducted to determine the value of the home. While this costs money to get an appraisal, it can pay off significantly if the value is determined to be higher than other estimates. This is true even for the spouse who does not keep the home, as they are entitled to their share of equity in the home.

Individuals might also value a home through a comparative market analysis, which looks at the value of other similar homes sold and compares that with a person’s home. This can cost less than an appraisal, although it also might yield less accurate results.

Ultimately, it is best to work with a qualified divorce attorney, who can help determine how to value such an important piece of marital property. The attorney will consult with other experts to ensure the property is valued accordingly, and that the spouse obtains his or her fair share in the home after the divorce.

Source: Huffington Post, “Three ways to value your home in a divorce,” Joseph E. Cordell, Mar. 1, 2013