What Happens to Valuable Artwork and Collectibles in Property Division?
Figuring out how to split up everything you own after a divorce can be one of the most difficult parts of the entire process. Some items that can be especially hard to divide up are artwork and collectibles. Many of these items can have a high monetary value in addition to sentimental value, so it is important to make sure that they are divided up in an equitable manner. Our knowledgeable Chatham property distribution attorneys can help with that.
How Do You Know How Much Artwork and Collectibles Are Worth?
There are usually two simple ways to figure out how much a piece of artwork or a collectible is worth. One option is to sell the piece. Artworks and collectibles can have varying values over their lifespan, so it is important to figure out if now would actually be a good time to sell it or if you should find another option.
If you want to keep the items, they would have to be appraised. An appraiser can tell you how much specific items would be worth. They can give you a value for the entire collection, and that can make it easier to split up the assets in an equitable fashion.
What Happens if We Disagree on the Appraisal?
Sometimes couples run into a problem at this stage though. If they disagree on the appraisals, that can throw a wrench into the works. If they each used their own appraisers, these appraisers may choose a third, presumably neutral appraiser to give their opinion on the value of specific items or the collection as a whole.
This can be preferable to letting a judge settle this. A judge could order you to sell the entire collection, even if there are some pieces that have sentimental value or items that are sure to increase in value in the future. Much of the time, you would rather be able to divide up the pieces in your collection instead of liquidating them.
Could Artwork and Collectibles Be Considered Separate Property?
Artwork and collectibles are just like any other property. They could be considered separate property, something that solely belongs to you or your spouse. They can also be considered marital property, and those are the items that need to be divided up during the divorce process.
It is usually easy to distinguish whether or not a particular item is separate or marital property. Did you or your spouse own a piece before you were married? Was a collectible a gift given specifically to you or your spouse? These kinds of items would be separate property. If you and your spouse built up a collection of artwork together, then all of that would be considered marital property. These are the items that would need to be equitably divided.
Contact an Experienced Divorce Lawyer
If you want to make sure that you get a fair property distribution agreement, contact Lazor Rantas, PC. Our lawyers are ready to fight for you, and we will be there to answer all of your questions about the divorce process.