I am both a licensed attorney and a licensed real estate broker in Waimea, on the Big Island of Hawaii.
I know that in the turmoil of a divorce, parties can loose sight of matters that seem less urgent. If they are fortunate enough to own real estate, but also have child custody issues, for instance, the custody issues are likely to take precedence over the allocation of real estate.
But getting an accurate valuation of real property assets does not have to consume a great deal of time, and it can make a big difference in the long run. The trick is to start early. If you and your spouse can agree upon an appraiser, great! If not, you should ask your attorney to request that the court appoint an appraiser. Get this started as soon as possible, since appraisal reports can take weeks, and sometimes longer, to produce.
You should also, and independently, consult with a lender before you begin to negotiate terms, so that you know what you need in order to purchase a replacement home. This information will help your attorney develop a settlement position for mediation and, if necessary, litigation.
There's an article that appeared in Hawaii Business Magazine, "Homeownership Can Be One Of Many Casualties of a Divorce" that is worth a read. It names Keri Shepherd as the first certified divorce lending professional in Hawaii. Check in with Keri, Pamela Maeda, Marcus Realty, or myself, for help ensuring a fair and informed outcome in the property division orders in your divorce.