How do you divide valuable artwork during your divorce?

Dividing your property during a divorce is not always going to be simple, especially if the asset can be valued in different ways. For example, artwork may be valuable to one partner and not to the other for sentimental reasons. It may also be worth a significant amount of money.

If you have high-value art that you have collected during your marriage, it’s important to think about how you want to divide that artwork upon divorce.

Get an appraisal before you start the division process

For any artwork that is shared property, it’s important for you to get an appraisal. You and your spouse may both want to get your own appraisals, or you may agree on a single appraiser who you believe will give you the appropriate appraisal for your pieces.

Once you receive the appraisals, you will know how much money you should expect if you were to sell the pieces. This will give you some idea of the value for the purpose of dividing those assets as well.

Should emotion play a role in dividing artwork?

It’s not a good idea to make financial decisions based on your emotional attachment to certain assets, but if there is an asset that you want, you may negotiate to obtain that while knowing that you may get less property overall if you are making decisions based on the sentimentality of the piece. For example, if the piece is worth $10,000 but you’re willing to negotiate up to $15,000 in other assets in exchange, you’ll lose out on that $5,000 if your spouse accepts the terms of the agreement. That isn’t necessarily a bad decision, depending on the reason for wanting the asset, but you should be aware that you may take away less from the marriage if you allow emotions to rule.

Take your time to decide on the right division of your property

Artwork is one kind of asset that can be tricky to divide, but it is possible. Make sure you get the appropriate appraisals done for the artwork, and then look at the value realistically to determine what you want or need.

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