How do you divide art in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Mar 3, 2023 | Divorce

The division of assets in a divorce can be challenging. You may have some complicated property that you need to figure out how to divide.

One such asset is art. Art can be hard to value. It also could jump in value in a short time. In some cases, the valuation is rather subjective and may vary depending on who is providing the quote. Furthermore, knowing what to do with the art you bought together can become hard.

First steps: determining ownership

The first thing you must do when dividing art is to determine ownership. You may have a mixed bunch of pieces that you bought prior to the marriage and during the marriage. It is important to gather purchase records so that you can easily show any ownership that would make pieces separate property as opposed to marital property.

If you can prove you bought something prior to your marriage, then you would automatically have ownership of that piece and it would not be a part of any property division process in the divorce. Proving ownership of art may be slightly easier than other assets since you likely will have good records of the purchase.

Next steps: valuing the art

After you have the art pieces that fall under marital property, you will need to figure out their value. The whole idea behind property division is to keep an equal and fair balance between what each spouse gets. Knowing the value of art will help with this goal.

You likely will need to pay professionals to determine the value. This may cost you some money, but it is part of the expenses involved in a divorce. You need the valuations for proper division.

The last step is dividing the assets. You may each take some of the art so that you have a fair division. You also may decide to sell some of it and split the proceeds.