From time to time, the question arises in divorce proceedings of dividing some type of valuable collection. This could consist of books, artwork, antiques or even stamps. Whatever the type of collection, there is a possibility that dividing it could result in a loss of value. Some collections lose all of their value if they are split between two people. Therefore, it is important to understand how your collections are valued, what the value of the individual components are and how to arrive at a fair price for purposes of property division.
The attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center are ready to help you with all of your property division and other divorce issues. Here are some pointers for helping you determine the best way to divide a valuable collection.
Valuing A Collection Is An Expert’s Job
One of the problems that people run into when they try to value a collection is that they do not have the expert knowledge to come up with a truly fair price. An expert can evaluate the collection for fair market value, which is the value that the collection would probably bring if it were sold immediately. An expert can also make an estimate as to the growth value of a collection, or the value it may have in the future. However, it is very important not to focus on this number as many factors can influence the future value of a collection. It may be helpful to know which collections you can expect to rise in value over the years so that you can make a wise decision on what to keep and what to sell.
Be Prepared To Negotiate
If you want to keep any of your valuable collections, you have two options: you can fight to have them excluded from the marital estate or you can pay your spouse the equivalent of her portion of interest in the collection.
While you may be able to show that a collection is not marital property if it was given to you in an inheritance or if you had it long before you married, it may be difficult to exclude it if you have used any marital funds at all to add to or maintain the collection. This can become a very tangled legal question, so it may be easier to make an offer to your former spouse to buy any interest she may have in the collection.
For more information on protecting your assets during a divorce, contact one of the knowledgeable attorneys at the Men’s Legal Center.