What should you do about art pieces in divorce?

You and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse love artwork, and you acquired quite a collection during your marriage. How should you tackle dividing your collection in divorce? 

The American Bar Association offers considerations to keep in mind when divorcing with shared artwork. Learn more about your options for keeping or giving your spouse pieces of art. 

Factors to consider

When approaching art during the property division phase of divorce, you have several considerations to mull over. For instance, are any of your pieces worth more now than when you first purchased them? What art did you buy during your marriage, and what did you purchase before tying the knot? Did you or your current spouse inherit any current pieces or receive them as gifts? 

Marital and individual property

With all artwork involved in your divorce, find evidence of the date you purchased each piece. Anything bought or created during the marriage likely becomes marital property to divide with your soon-to-be-ex-spouse. Anything you or your current partner purchased or created before the marriage becomes non-marital property. 

Valuing art

After deciding what art the court may treat as either marital or non-marital property, have a professional valuate your collection. Your findings may help you decide how to divide the work evenly, such as one of you retaining a specific piece’s copyright while the other becomes the art’s physical owner. Here is where a little creativity may serve you well. No matter what you and your current spouse decide, enlist the help of an experienced art professional familiar with valuing art and working with divorcing couples. 

Arm yourself with knowledge when dividing property in a divorce. Dividing art does not have to become a headache. 

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