Most of divorce proceedings simply involve only the estimated current fair market value of the property(s) in question. More complex assignments involve capturing the estimated fair market value as of specific points in time, such as the date of purchase, date of marriage, and when improvements were made to the property. Value estimates made in the past are “retrospective” value estimates.

Until recently, the Brandenburg v. Brandenburg 617S.W.2d871 (1981) formula ruled the landscape of domestic relations law in Kentucky. Apparently, Brandenburg did not address the issue of the infusion of nonmarital contributions to the real property in an adequate manner, and the Supreme Court of Kentucky rendered an opinion in the Lyon Circuit Court’s Travis v. Travis Case (52S.W.3d 904 (2001).

The appraisal methodology of the “Travis Case” was tested in the Fayette Circuit Court regarding the Rutherford v. Rutherford (01-CI-0659) matter. 

In this case, the appraiser was asked to estimate the current fair market value of the property, allocate the value of the nonmarital contributions or improvements, and estimate any change in value attributable to general economic conditions. 

James F. Bailey of Bailey Appraisal Service passed muster in this case regarding the appraisal methodology and set a precedent in the Fayette Circuit Court, and arguably the Commonwealth of Kentucky. 

Mr. Bailey has been a guest lecturer in Justice James E. Keller’s family law class at the University of Kentucky relating to appraisal methodology in Travis v. Travis.