What Happens to Valuable Artwork and Collectibles in Property Division?

collection of paintings

Artwork and collectibles are property just like any other, so if you are getting a divorce you probably have already realized that such collections will need to be split up between you and your spouse. If you want to make sure that you are getting your fair share of your collection, you should have a seasoned Memphis, Tennessee property division lawyer by your side. Our lawyers will do everything that they can to help you fight for the best possible outcome.

Can Artwork and Collectibles Be Considered Separate Property?

One thing that is important to establish is whether or not a collection is separate or marital property. Artwork and collectibles that your spouse acquired together are likely to be considered marital property. However, if you both came into the marriage with your own collections, they would be considered separate property. This can also apply to gifts that were given exclusively to one spouse, or to artwork and collectibles that were inheritances.

Who Gets the Physical Items in the Artwork and Collectibles Collection?

In some cases, a collection is clearly a bigger passion for one spouse than it is for another. In cases like these, that spouse could get to keep the actual items in the collection, or at least the bulk of them. The spouse would then need to get their share of “equity” in the collection.

This can be done in a few ways. One spouse could just simply buy the spouse out of their stake in the collection. The other property from the marriage could also be divided in such a way that allows one spouse to keep the collection of artwork and collectibles while the other spouse gets their fair share of other assets.

How Can We Tell How Much a Collection Is Worth?

Of course, to do all of this you will need to know how much your collection is actually worth. Most of the time, an appraiser is needed to accurately gauge the value of a collection of artwork or collectibles. In some cases, a spouse disagrees with the appraisal and drafts their own appraiser. If there is still disagreement after a second appraisal, both appraisers may then have to choose a third appraiser, to ensure neutrality.

Once a value can be assigned to a collection, negotiations can begin. The collection can be sold off and both spouses can split the proceeds. One spouse can buy the other out of their “stake” in their collection. In some cases, both spouses could agree to keep the collection and split it up equitably.

Talk to Our Lawyers

If you want to get a fair deal in a divorce agreement, you should have an experienced family lawyer on your side. At Rice Law we do our best to make sure that our clients are part of an equitable property division agreement, and we are more than prepared to help you with anything else that you could need during this process. So contact our law firm and schedule your consultation today.