Ensuring a fair outcome in divorce isn’t a straightforward process. There are many unique considerations that you need to reflect upon to protect yourself. From determining what assets are separate property to creating a comprehensive list of all the assets you’ve acquired during marriage, there are many steps you can take to improve how fair the asset division process is.

Putting a price on certain assets can be difficult, while others are more clear cut. For example, your retirement account has a fixed financial value. Other assets, including items whose values fluctuate over time, may be harder to put a price on. You probably think you know the value of your home. You pay taxes on it and probably even have a mortgage. However, the amount of your mortgage may not represent what your home is currently worth.

The longer you have lived in your home and the closer you are to paying off the mortgage, the more likely it is that there is a significant discrepancy between the paperwork price of your home and its fair market value.

Working with a professional can help you find a fair value

Real estate professionals including Realtors and appraisers have training that allows them to put a reasonable price on a property. They will look at multiple factors, including the condition of all the major systems in your home, from the floors to the furnace. They will also look at its location, any unique benefits or drawbacks to the property, and local sale prices.

Doing a comparative analysis of what similar homes in the area sell for is of utmost importance because that information reflects the current market value of your home. If you purchased your home when you first got married or perhaps chose to upgrade during last decade’s financial downturn because real estate prices were low, there could be a massive gap between the price of your home on paper and what it would command if you listed it for sale.

Knowing what the home is worth if you sell it is critical because that is the amount that your home represents in the current market.

Even if you don’t want to keep the home, you should know what it is worth

Maybe you have already decided that you don’t want to retain the family home because there are too many memories there or because you simply can’t afford it without your spouse’s income. Knowing the actual value of the home is most important for those who don’t want to retain the house, as they will likely receive a portion of the equity or assets worth a comparable amount instead.

If you go by the original sale price of your home, you could be missing out on tens of thousands of dollars worth of equity that should be part of your share of the marital estate in your Connecticut divorce.