Understanding the Inventory and Appraisement (I&A)

Posted on July 20, 2020 by Chris Kirker

During the divorce process, parties may have to prepare and file what is called an “inventory and appraisement.” An inventory and appraisement (I&A) is, essentially, a list of all real and personal property as well as all debts and liabilities claimed by each spouse. The I&A list may be filed with the court and its purpose is to assist the court in making a just and right division of the marital estate. Depending on the local rules of the county in which the case is filed, sometimes the I&A is not filed with the court and is exchanged between the parties or their attorneys. In those cases, the I&A is still helpful in determining what constitutes a just and right division of the marital estate because it is used to help the parties and their attorneys put together a proposal for how the property should be divided.

Each party prepares their own separate I&A, which should include a list of both parties’ property and debts. So, for example, Spouse A will prepare and their own I&A, but that I&A should identify all property owned by Spouse A as well as that owned by Spouse B. Property to be identified in the I&A includes all real property, checking accounts, saving accounts, vehicles, stocks, retirement accounts, etc. The I&A should also include characterizations for all property and debts listed (i.e., whether each listed property or debt is separate or community). Note: please see our blog post on characterization for more information about how property is determined to be separate or community property and what those designations mean.  

The I&A should also include a value for each item listed. Parties will often exchange bank statements, deeds, contracts, or any other such documentation which supports the I&A. Valuing the property identified in the I&A is a key component of preparing the I&A – without appropriate and correct values, a court cannot make a just and right division of property upon divorce. If a party is unsure of a value for their property, it is critical to do research to attain a value or, when necessary and applicable, to hire a valuation expert to assist in the valuation process.  

If you or your spouse are considering a divorce and you are concerned about the division of your property, please contact us  for more information.


Chris M. Kirker

Christopher M. Kirker is a Partner and Trial Attorney at Kirker Davis for complex family law litigation, primarily high-net-worth Texas divorce, custody, division of property, business ownership litigation, and trial consulting.

Education: Baylor University School of Law, cum laude, J.D. (2010)
Years of Experience: +13 years



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