Divorce and Real Estate in NH Greater New Hampshire Real Estate

Keep these following facts in mind when reading this section:

Marital or Community Property is considered any property acquired or obtained by either spouse during the course of a marriage, before the signing of a separation agreement or at commencement of divorce, regardless of the name in which the property is held.

This applies to anything acquired during the marriage, EXCEPT for property acquired prior to the marriage; property acquired through an inheritance or as a gift from someone other than the spouse; personal injury awards; property obtained in exchange of separate property; or property that has been designated as separate property in a prenuptual agreement.

If real estate in the possession of either spouse at the time of divorce was not acquired under one of the circumstances outlined above as exceptions to marital or community property, it is subject to distribution by the Court. Therefore, in order to arrive at a fair distribution of property between divorcing spouses, it is important to know the fair market value of the real estate in question.

NEW HAMPSHIRE PROPERTY DISTRIBUTION: New Hampshire is an “equitable distribution” state.

The court will divide all of the spouse’s property, including (1) gifts; (2) inheritances; (3) property acquired prior to the marriage; and (4) any retirement or pension benefits, as is equitable and just. An equal division is presumed to be equitable.

The factors for consideration specified in the statute are: (1) the length of the marriage; (2) the age and health of the spouses; (3) the occupation of the spouses; (4) the vocational skills of the spouses; (5) the employability of the spouses; (6) the value of each spouse’s property; (7) the amount and sources of income of the spouses; (8) the liabilities and needs of each spouse; (9) the opportunity of each for further acquisition of capital assets and income; (10) the ability of the custodial parent to engage in gainful employment without interfering with the interests of any minor children in custody; (11) the need of the custodial parent to occupy or own the marital residence and any household furnishings; (12) the actions of either spouse during the marriage which contributed to the increase or decrease in value of any property; (13) any significant disparity between the spouses in relation to the contribution of each spouse to the acquisition of the marital property, including the contribution of each spouse to the care and education of the children and the care and management of the home; (14) the expectation of any retirement or pension benefits; (15) the federal income tax consequences of the court’s division of the property; (16) any marital fault if such fault caused the breakdown of the marriage and caused pain and suffering or economic loss; (17) the value of any property acquired prior to marriage or exchanged for property acquired prior to marriage; (18) the value of any gifts or inheritances; (19) any direct or indirect contribution to the education or career development of the other spouse; (20) any interruption in education or career opportunities to benefit the other’s career, the marriage, or any children; (21) the social and economic status of each spouse; (22) any other relevant factor. [New Hampshire Revised Statutes Annotated; Chapter 458:16-a].

New Hampshire: Real Estate Appraisals: Choosing a Real Estate Appraiser:

A substantial portion of a married couple’s wealth may consists of the real estate they own. This would include the actual place of residence as well as any other estate properties. Because of this fact, when getting a divorce, it is very important to hire a real estate appraiser who is a professional ( one who puts aside their personal feelings and arrives at a supportable opinion of value that reflects the market as of the date of valuation). In order to formulate a reliable opinion of value the professional real estate appraiser follows very closely a specific valuation process.

What to look for in a Real Estate Appraiser:

When having real estate appraised, just like having other property appraised, it is important to retain a knowledgeable, educated individual with experience in the all aspects of the field. The following is a list of basic requirements for professional real estate appraisers:

  • Formal education in real estate
  • Training in principles of valuation
  • Experience in buying and selling real estate
  • Knowledge of levels of value, and how the market is affected from source to consumer
  • Knowledge of retail values

Like many other professions, the industry of Business Valuators has seen the proliferation of professional designations. There are a lot of reputable designations, so be sure to ask what the those acronyms behind his or her name represents, and investigate to see how much training and education is needed to obtain the designation.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is it important for the appraiser to physically inspect the exterior and interior of the property being appraised?

Answer: Yes. It is very important. Without inspection, the appraiser is unable to form a creditable opinion as to value.

When is the Cost Approach Method the most important in determining a final value conclusion?

Answer: For new or relatively new construction. Also, when a lack of comparable sales limits the effectiveness of the Sales Comparison Approach and when the Income Approach is not applicable.

When is the Sale Comparison Approach most important in determining a final value conclusion?

Answer: When there is a large number of reliable sales that indicate value patterns or tends.

When is the Income Approach most important in determining a final value conclusion?

Answer: When the property being appraised produces income and is able to be valued by the approach.

Is it appropriate to have the property appraised by more than one appraiser?

Answer: Yes. This helps confirm value or raise questions as to how conclusions were drawn.

Is it important to review the appraiser’s report?

Answer: Yes. This enables the reader to judge for themselves the quantity, quality and appropriateness of the data used to form the opinion of value. Also, it allows the reader to form their own value conclusion based upon the data presented.

Is it appropriate to have an independent appraiser review another appraiser’s report?

Answer: Yes. If the reader of the report is unable to judge its relative merits, an independent appraiser should be hired to review and pass judgment on the report.

Which approach to value is most important for valuing a single family home?

Answer: The Sale Comparison Approach if there are a sufficient number of comparable sales. If there are not a large number of comparable sales the Cost Approach is the next most effective method.

Is it appropriate to meet with the appraiser to discuss how and on what basis conclusions were drawn?

Answer: Yes. The appraiser should welcome this type of meeting.

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