What Happens to Valuable Artwork and Collectibles in Property Division?

hall full of paintings

If you and your spouse have built up a valuable collection of artwork or collectibles, but now you are getting a divorce. What do you do with such collections? A York County, PA property division attorney from our firm can help you sort through the options, and we will help you fight for an arrangement that is fair to you.

How Can We Learn the Value of Our Artwork and Collectibles?

If you are going to split up artwork and collectibles equitably, you are going to need to know how much your collections are worth. At the request of you or your spouse, an appraiser can come in and tell you approximately how much the items would be worth if they were sold right now. If there is disagreement over the appraisal, the other spouse can get an appraisal of their own. If there is still disagreement, sometimes the two appraisers will find a third neutral appraiser to finalize things.

Do We Need to Sell Our Artwork and Collectibles?

Just because you appraised the value of these artwork and collectibles, that does not mean that you have to sell them. Now you and your spouse can negotiate and try to make a deal that is fair for both parties. You can talk about:

  • Splitting the collections equitably
  • Having one spouse bought out of their share of the collection
  • Figuring out a way to keep everything jointly owned

You have some options here, especially if you and your spouse are on decent terms and can make the most out a mediation or negotiation session.

Are These Pieces Separate or Marital Property?

What if you do not believe that a particular piece of artwork or collectible should be part of the property distribution process? If you owned something before you got married, then it should be considered separate property. It should not be split up along with the assets you accumulated while you were married.

How Can I Protect My Own Artwork and Collectibles in a Divorce?

If you want to show that artwork and collectibles are your property, not marital property, you need to keep meticulous records. Keep receipts and certificates of authenticity. If you schedule any appraisals, make note of them and when they occurred. The more information that you have readily available, the easier it can be to prove that some of the items in your collection are separate property.

Contact Our Law Firm Today

At Ilkhanoff & Silverstein, we have helped guide plenty of our clients through the divorce process. We understand what you are going through and we know that dividing up your marital property can be stressful. So, for your own sake, contact our law firm and schedule a consultation today. We are ready to assist you.

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