Valuing an Automobile in a Divorce Proceeding

In order to properly divide marital property, you and your lawyer must first value each asset.  One of the most difficult assets to value is the automobile. There are two common ways to value the family car: a dealer appraisal or a paid appraisal.

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Dealer Appraisal

A dealer can place two different values on an automobile. The first value he or she may quote is the trade-in value, which is the price the dealer will take when trading an old car for a new one. This value is generally much lower than the fair market value because it allows the dealer to make a profit on the car. The dealer may also quote a price based on the concept of fair market value, or the value that will most likely be paid if the car is sold on the open market.

Because of the varying values that a dealer can place on a car, your Ventura family lawyer may prefer to get a paid appraisal in valuing your car.

Paid Appraisal

Generally, Ventura family lawyers prefer to get paid appraisals when there is a high-end value car, or if the divorcing couple cannot agree as to which dealer to use or the price the dealer has placed on the car. However, it should be noted that even a paid appraisal might not reflect a fair market price for a luxury car because the market for such cars is not very large, making it hard to determine a fair price.

Call Us

For more information about valuing an automobile during a divorce proceeding, call the offices of Zonder Family Law at (818) 309-7059 to schedule an initial Strategy Session with Lisa Zonder.