Family Law Valuations

Family Law Valuations for matrimonial matters are a particularly specialised field where we have been conducting majority of our work from either private clients or solicitors under joint or single party instructions for nearly 20 years.

Blanco Property Group are experts in Family Law Valuations with highly experienced valuers meticulously thorough in their approach, complying with Family Law Court standards and guidelines.

Family Law Valuations, work to resolve any property disputes following a separation. By appointing the help of an independent Property Valuer, both parties will be able to access a fair and unbiased payout, through understanding the total value and allowing negotiations to begin accordingly.

Family law matters can be extremely taxing both emotionally and financially. So, it is crucial that you seek the services and advice of an independent property Valuer to provide you with an honest, sworn valuation which are regularly utilised by our clients as expert evidence. Doing so may see a buy out or settlement agreement reached without having to take the matter to Court.

In the event that a settlement has not been agreed, then it is necessary for the valuer to appear in court and provide expert evidence regarding the valuation which will be cross examined from legal representation.

All our valuers have undertaken Expert Evidence Certifications which they strictly abide by all requirements under the Family, Federal and Supreme Courts within Australia.

Blanco Property Group also conduct shadow expert witness valuations where a client is not happy with another valuation they have received and request an independent second opinion of the value.

Valuations for matrimonial matters must be treated with the utmost sensitivity. That is where our team really shine. Not only will our licensed Valuers provide you with a comprehensive, accurate report that is easy to understand – they will also take the time to learn about your situation and offer advice based on your individual needs.

Mediation Valuations

Mediation works to reach an agreement between both parties without having to progress the matter to the Family Courts. Attending court, particularly where family matters are concerned, can be an extremely expensive and emotionally draining experience.

Through proper mediation, court proceedings can generally be avoided. Divorce and separation matters are stressful enough – let our experienced Valuers at Blanco Property Group help you reach an agreement that is beneficial for both parties. Regardless of the property type, be rest assured our independent accurate reports will assist with severing financial ties.

What is a Family Law Court valuation?

Family Law Court valuations are also known as matrimonial valuations. These valuations are typically carried out when two parties separate through a divorce, marriage breakdown, or from a de facto arrangement.

The purpose of a market valuation is to dispel any disputes between the two parties regarding the value of their family home.

Let’s say one party is still living in the family home, while the other party has been residing elsewhere for some time. The party still in the house may be aware of significant concerns or defects. The party residing outside of the home may have a different idea about its condition, leading to disputes about the property’s value.

Disputes can also arise if one party receives more significant benefits from a property settlement than the other. An independent, accurate market valuation can prevent such conflicts.

A professional valuation can also ensure the value of your property is split equitably between both parties.

Family Law Court valuations are not:

  • Valuations for bank purposes
  • The price you originally paid for the home
  • Real estate appraisals

In fact, Family Law Court valuations are a specialised form of valuation intended only to resolve disputes about a property’s value during separation and are distinct from other valuation types.

Who can conduct a Family Law Court valuation?

A professional property valuer conducts family law valuations. Both parties may agree to appoint the same valuer to inspect their home, or they may each select an independent valuer. When both parties agree to use the same valuer, the valuer is called a single expert.

Your valuer’s job is to thoroughly analyse your property to form a professional opinion of its market value. A certified practising valuer should be registered with the Australian Property Institute(API).

By choosing a single expert to conduct an independent valuation of property, both parties will share costs. The court will also accept the valuation as evidence without each party having to apply separately.

How do I know if I need a formal valuation?

During a divorce or separation, the first step to determine your property’s value is to make estimates through each party’s respective solicitor. The goal of these estimates is to agree upon the value of the property.

If you and your ex-partner are unable to agree, the next step is for each party to arrange an agent’s appraisal.

Your real estate agent’s appraisal may not match up with your ex-partner’s result. If the obtained estimates are vastly different, and you are unable to compromise on a figure, you’ll need to arrange a formal valuation with a certified practising valuer.

What’s the difference between an agent’s appraisal and a professional valuation?

A real estate appraisal is a quick, brief, and cheap (sometimes free) estimate of your property’s value, performed by a real estate agent.

The agent will investigate recent sale prices of comparable homes in your area and, based on these prices, offer their opinion about your home’s sale value. Sometimes, agents will suggest excessively optimistic values to encourage homeowners to enlist their services.

A professional valuation, on the other hand, provides a legal independent experts opinion of value of your property that can be used in Family Court.

Why should I choose a certified property valuer?

When you enlist a certified practising valuer to inspect your property, you’ll receive a legally binding document indicating its value.

During court proceedings, property valuers may also serve as expert witnesses. While under cross-examination, the valuer will need to explain how they determined the property’s value. A certified valuer will ensure there is no reason to dispute their determined value and that their report meets Family Court regulations.

A valuer certified with the Australian Property Institute (API) will perform all duties in line with the API Rules of Conduct and the API Valuation and Property Standards. Under these rules, the valuer will act with honesty, honour, and integrity through every aspect of the process, remaining impartial and independent.

How do I appoint a single expert?

There are a few ways to appoint a single expert to value your property. These methods include:

  1. One party will nominate three valuers. The other party will select one valuer from these three options.
  2. The court will appoint a valuer from a list provided by each party.
  3. An independent institution, such as the President of the Australian Property Institute, will appoint a valuer at the request of both parties.

Once both parties have agreed upon a single expert, they will then need to decide how to instruct the single expert. Both parties will also need to follow specific requirements, as outlined in the Australian Family Law Act.

How do Adelaide property valuers value assets?

For residential property valuations Adelaide residents can expect a valuer to assess the property based on its fair market value. Fair market value describes the price a fully informed, willing buyer would pay when acting at arm’s length.

Fair market value does not take anxiousness or urgency into account. A home’s fair market value may be $400,000, for example, but an anxious buyer may be willing to pay $425,000 or more.

There is no exact formula used to calculate a property’s fair market value. To determine an accurate value, valuers must:

  • Know relevant facts about the property
  • Understand the economics of a free, open market
  • Keep up to date with real estate market activity
  • Compare your property with similar properties in the local area, considering its size, age, condition and any renovations

A certified practising valuer will clearly understand each of these crucial factors and apply them to their valuation.

What is the valuation process?

When conducting a Family Law Court Valuation, there is no fixed rule determining the valuation figure. Valuers may use various methodologies to determine a property’s fair market value, including:

  • Conducting the Direct Comparison Approach which is based on similar comparable properties within the area that have recently sold;
  • Summation Approach which is based on the underlying land value plus the added depreciated replacement cost of the improvements; or
  • Capitalisation of Net Income Approach which is determined by identifying firstly fair market rent of the property and then capitalising at an appropriate rate of return as determined from investment sales evidence analysed (generally used more in commercial properties).

Your valuer will choose which method/s is most appropriate to use and must justify their choice/s. Once the valuer has determined the property’s value, they will prepare a detailed report including:

  • Photos of the property
  • A comprehensive description of the property’s features, location, condition, and other relevant information
  • Details of the valuer’s analysis
  • Any sales evidence used

This report may be used as evidence in the Family Court—in which case, the valuer must put forward an affidavit confirming the accuracy of the report and ensuring they have followed all rules and regulations.

What do I do if I disagree with the result of the valuation?

If one or both parties disagree with the result of the valuation or wish to clarify any aspect of the report, they may ask the valuer specific questions. These questions should be put forward in writing and provided to all parties involved with the proceedings.

Your single expert will respond to these questions to the best of his or her ability. If some issues remain unsolved, the next step is to obtain a private report from a separate expert witness.

If the second private report reveals a value that is 10% greater or lower than your single expert’s value, you may submit it to the court as adversarial evidence. You’ll need to obtain the court’s permission to rely on this second report during proceedings.

To obtain permission, the court must agree that:

  • There is a considerable body of opinion contrary to that of the single expert.
  • Another expert witness is aware of matters unknown to the single expert that may indicate an issue, or
  • There is some other special reasoning for citing evidence from another expert witness.

If you receive approval to file your second report, and the two experts disagree about your property’s value, each expert may be cross-examined at trial. Through cross-examination, the judge may direct both experts to confer, or the court may decide the property’s value at their discretion.

Alternatively, suppose the second report’s value lies within 10% of the original single expert’s report (and you don’t wish to submit the second report to the court). In that case, you may leave your criticisms of the original report to the hearing.

At the hearing, your solicitor can cross-examine your single expert to persuade the judge that the single expert has made errors. This may lead the judge to conclude that the property should reflect a different value than initially proposed.

How do I arrange a valuation?

At Blanco Property Group, we provide expert Family Law Court valuation services. Contact us via phone, email, or online and arrange an honest, professional, and thorough independent house valuation.

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