Tips for Dividing Valuable Art During a Divorce

How should you go about dividing pieces of art during a divorce? It’s an issue that’s not often talked about, but is fairly common in divorces of couples that own large estates. In fact, some experts say that it can take longer to divide up paintings or sculptures than houses, cars or money.

There are two general steps people going through a divorce should take if they are having issues splitting up valuable pieces of art:

Create an inventory of the pieces you have

Create a detailed list of all the art that was purchased before the marriage and during the marriage, and make sure that they are split into separate categories. You should also determine what pieces of art you sold during the marriage and at what price, as well as pieces of art you had placed for sale but had not yet closed on. Any art obtained before the marriage or after the separation or filing for divorce is not counted as marital property, so it does not have to be worried about in a property division plan.

Be sure to disclose all pieces of art or other relevant documents, as any attempted concealment of assets could harm your chances of obtaining a favorable division.

Hire an art appraiser

Once you’ve created your inventory, you should consider hiring an appraiser. Whether you agree as a couple to hire a single appraiser or each hire one of your own, an appraiser can help in determining the value of the artwork to make for a more equal split. This is generally a better option than leaving it up to the judge, as a judge is not likely to have any kind of reliable knowledge about the value of artwork.

For more tips and guidance on how to handle splitting artwork after a divorce, work with a Long Island family law attorney at Bryan L. Salamone & Associates.

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