Skip to main content

Inventory and Appraisement of Property in a Divorce


This article explains the "inventory and appraisement," a document that lets the court know what property to divide in a divorce. 

Learn about inventory and appraisement lists, deadlines, and the consequences of not filing one when it is required.

What is an inventory and appraisement?

An inventory and appraisement is a list of all real and personal property as well as debts and liabilities claimed by each spouse. This list will include separate property, community property, and debts that you and your spouse have.

This list is necessary to help the judge make a just and right division of the marital estate during the divorce. For more on real property, community property, and separate property definitions, read Divorce and Real Estate.

Is an inventory and appraisement required for my divorce?

Maybe. A court can issue a temporary order requiring both spouses to prepare and file a separate sworn inventory and appraisement. A local court’s rules may also require it. You or your spouse can ask the court to require each party to prepare a sworn inventory and appraisement. If it is confirmed to be necessary, the court can rule that it be required. 

Texas Family Code 6.502(a)(1).

What does it mean for the inventory and appraisement to be sworn?

A sworn inventory and appraisement means that you will be signing this document under penalty of perjury. This means that with your signature, you are swearing, under oath, that the information you included is truthful to the best of your knowledge. If it is found that you are intentionally dishonest, you could face jail time or a fine.

What should I include in my inventory and appraisement?

What you must include in your inventory and appraisement depends on your court and local rules. You should consult with an attorney if you have any questions.

In general, you should identify all of your and your spouse’s property and debts. Next, you will need to characterize each item as community or separate property. Lastly, you should include a value for each item. 

If you have any bank statements, credit card statements, employee payroll records, deeds, contracts, receipts, or other documents to support what you are listing on your inventory and appraisement, include them with your document.

What are examples of types of property to include in my inventory and appraisement?

Real property, real estate, checking accounts, saving accounts, cars, furniture, credit cards, antiques, stocks, retirement accounts, life insurance, art, etc.

How do I know what property we need to divide in the divorce?

All marital property you and your spouse own at the time of your divorce is presumed to be community property. Community property is what will be divided in the divorce. Read Community Property to learn more about it.

If property division is contested, the court will make a just and right division of all community property. The court is not permitted to divide your separate property.

What if I do not know the value of an item?

You should research and give your best idea of the value of an item. The court will use this list to divide your marital estate. The court cannot make a just and right division without proper values. 

Should I have an attorney review my inventory and appraisement?

Yes. It is important to do so if you can. Your inventory and appraisement is an important court document that may be required to be filed and introduced as evidence at your trial. If so, there is a chance that the document is binding and cannot be changed. You may want to consult with an attorney beforehand to ensure it is in proper form and complete. 

If you need help finding a lawyer, you can: 

If you can’t afford to hire an attorney to fully represent you, you may be able to hire an attorney just to draft or review your inventory and appraisement This sort of arrangement is called limited scope representation and may allow you to get this limited legal assistance for a significantly lower fee.

What are the filing deadlines for an inventory and appraisement?

If an inventory and appraisement is required, it should be filed before your trial. The deadline may depend on whether the court required the inventory and appraisement or if the other side made the request. If you are unsure, talk to an attorney. 

Related Guides

  • I need a divorce. We have children under 18.


    How to get a divorce when you and your spouse have children younger than 18 (or still in high school).
  • I need a divorce. We do not have minor children.


    A guide for getting a divorce when you and your spouse do not have children together who are younger than 18 (or still in high school).
  • I need a divorce. We have minor children. A final custody and support order is already in place.


    How to get a divorce when there is already a final court order for custody and support of your children (like an Attorney General child support ord...
  • My spouse filed for divorce.


    If you have been served with divorce papers, learn about your options and how to respond.
  • Related Articles