When you have personal property to protect, there are four different things that can affect it. Disasters, like natural disasters, debt, your death and divorce can all impact what happens to assets you've accrued over time. It might be hard to avoid all the things that can affect your assets, but divorce is one of the few you have control over.
If you don't have a prenuptial agreement, then anything that you acquire during a marriage could be divided upon divorce. Depending on your case, that might mean that you're looking to lose or gain a great deal depending on the outcome of your settlement and court dates.
When you're ready to get a divorce, one of the things you need to do is to have your property and assets appraised. Knowing the true value of property and the assets you have allows you to make better decisions with your finances in the future and can help you negotiate for the assets you want now.
An appraiser provides information on the value of an item or property. The fair market value is determined, which can even help you divide your property equitably if there were concerns about the value of different properties or assets you shared in your marriage. The appraiser's professional valuation can be added into documents that the court receives if you can't settle with your spouse, so the court can make an accurate division for you. Your attorney can help you review your appraiser's information as well as any information provided by your spouse's appraiser, if a separate appraised is used.
Source: The Huffington Post, "The Four D’s in Personal Property Appraisal: Death, Disaster, Debt, and Divorce," David S. Bunton, Sep. 13, 2016