One problem that some couples face when going through a divorce is the question of how art investments should be divided. You may have spent many years and gone to great financial lengths to fund a private art collection of which you are justifiably proud, only to see it being whisked away from you during a divorce settlement. Alternatively, a certain painting may have been passed down as a family heirloom and bears some significance to one partner or the other, leading the owner to prioritize that painting in a settlement.
In some cases, a certain possession can spark a battle between the partners. This is especially true when the couple owns a valuable piece of art. It can often take longer to divide up art than cars or money because of the emotional attachments involved. Here are some tips on how to handle art and other valuable and hard-to-divide possessions in a divorce from the Men’s Legal Center.
Make An Inventory
It is important to compile a detailed list of the art that you have acquired before or after the divorce. Art bought outside marriage may not be considered marital property, allowing you to keep it for yourself as long as you have concrete evidence that you own it. However, this is not always the case, so it is important to talk to your attorney about the possible legal implications of previously owned artwork.
One thing you do not want to do is attempt to conceal any artwork. If you decide to hide art away, it can often be considered fraud and a lawsuit could be brought against you. In some cases, attempting to hide any assets could result in your spouse winning half or even all of the asset for herself in court.
Hire An Appraiser
If you and your spouse disagree on the value of a piece of art, there are steps you can take to ensure that your valuations agree. One option is to let each spouse hire his or her own appraisers and take an average from the two evaluations. Once you and your spouse know the true value of an art piece, this can make the division of art by value a fairer process and other assets, such as cars, homes and vacation homes, can be included in the bargaining process.
If you are in the process of divorce and need help dividing your assets, contact the Men’s Legal Center. We understand the problems you are facing and can help you overcome the obstacles that arise in any divorce and achieve a fair settlement.