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Determining the value of highly valued artwork or antiques is a crucial part of the divorce process for high asset couples. Some New York spouses are familiar with how to get artwork or valuables appraised, but for those who possess little experience with appraisals, it can be challenging. If you know how to find an appraiser who will evaluate your valuables correctly, it can save you some problems later on.

It is imperative not to automatically trust the very first advertisement for an appraiser that you see. Parade magazine warns that thousands of people across the United States call themselves appraisers, but many of these people are simply antique store owners or people who maintain art galleries. They may have no real training in how to appraise an item. This lack of training can result in an appraised value that is not correct.

Even if an amateur appraiser does produce a correct value, it may not be the value that you need for your upcoming divorce. Professional appraisers receive training that is consistent with the Uniform Standards of Professional Appraisal Practice (USPAP). These appraisers are trained to know the different between replacement value, market value, and fair market value. Receiving the wrong value could prolong the divorce process and create additional legal turmoil.

According to Consumer Reports, if you find a professional appraiser, there are certain things to expect. The appraiser should produce a written report that describes the item in detail and the procedure the appraiser used to determine the value of the item. A professional appraiser can charge an hourly fee or a flat fee, but should never charge a fee that derives a percentage from the value of the item. People should also be wary of appraisers who offer to purchase items that they evaluate.

Some works of art or antiques turn out not to be worth much at all. If an item turns out to cost you more out of your own pocket to appraise it than the item is worth, a professional appraiser should let you know and not take the job. The appraiser might provide other recommendations to figure out the value of your item. Knowing this can help you save some money, which is very important while navigating a divorce.