What is an Inventory and Appraisment?

An Inventory and Appraisement (I&A) is required by Courts in any final hearing that involves division of marital property and confirmation of separate property at divorce.  An I&A conveys three important elements of information about each asset or debt, as follows:

  1. It IDENTIFIES the assets and debts (e.g., a home, ABC Bank Joint Checking account ending in 2234, ABC Bank Joint Savings account ending in 4567, an outstanding mortgage; and VISA Joint Credit Card ending in 1122 and VISA Joint Credit Card ending in 6543, etc.).
  2. It CHARACTERIZES the assets and debts  (e.g., which item identified are claimed to be community property or separate property).
  3. It QUANTIFIES the assets and debts (e.g., the home has a market value of $250K and the mortgage balance is $125K, so substantial equity exits; the ABC Bank Joint Checking ending in 2234 has a balance of $5K; the ABC Bank Joint Saving account ending in 4567 has a balance of $24.3K; the VISA Joint Credit Card ending in 1122 has a zero balance; the VISA Joint Credit Card ending in 6543 has a balance of $3.2K, etc.).

In summary, a Court cannot divide the community estate and evaluate claims of separate property without information about what you own, how each item is characterized, and what each item is worth.  The I&A also is a critical element for mediation since any negotiated agreement must be based on full and fair disclosure.

Author Jim Cramp is a retired active duty colonel and the founder and principal attorney at the Cramp Law Firm, PLLC.  The firm provides a spectrum of family law-related services to clients in the greater San Antonio region, across the United States and throughout the world.  The firm specializes in Federal Civil Service and Military Divorce matters.