Suppose a couple has owned a house for fourteen years, since the year they married. The couple paid $300,000. There is $175,000 left on the mortgage. How will the equity in the home be valued and distributed? On these facts, it is impossible to determine the equity without knowing the present market value of the home. It is now certainly worth more than the $300,000 the couple paid for it. To determine the equity, the parties can hire an appraiser, either jointly or separately. The appraiser will give an estimate of the current market value. The couple can hire a relator, either jointly or separately, to do a market comparison of similar houses in the neighborhood to establish a range. Or, if the couple knows the market value of the house, they can jointly agree on the current market value. Once market value is established, it is a simple subtraction problem to determine the equity: market value minus the remaining loan obligation. If the home needs extensive repairs, that might reduce the equity. If the marriage is a long marriage, more than 8 or 9 years, in all likelihood, the equity in the home will be equally divided between husband and wife.