FAMILY LAW... & MORE

Dealing with artwork during property division

| Sep 26, 2019 | Property Division |

The property division process can be as unique as the financial makeup of the individuals involved in a divorce. This means that couples that are dissolving their marriages need to be prepared to come up with customized legal solutions to their property division disputes. One of the first steps in doing this is understanding the assets in play, how to valuate them, and how to divide them equitably, but not necessarily fairly.

One often overlooked part of a high-asset divorce is the division of artwork. Whether an individual is an artist or a collector, the value of these works can be enormous both from a financial and a sentimental point of view. Of course, only those works of art that are created or obtained during the course of marriage are subject to property division.

Then the challenge of appraisal begins. For artists, a valuation of their work must be made in light of their previous sales and the state of the market, as well as expectations for the future of the market. Even the materials utilized and needed to complete works in progress should be taken into account. For collectors, it is critical to get a fair idea of the market for their collection and the likelihood that those works can be sold. Of course, each party is entitled to have their own appraisal, and then negotiations can begin. It is worth noting, though, that those who are knowledgeable in the field should be the ones to undertake these appraisals.

There are many other considerations to take into account when dealing with artwork during the divorce process, including copyright and visual rights. These are also only a small part of the divorce process as a whole. However, those going through marriage dissolution need to be detail-oriented so that they can reach the best financial outcome for themselves and their children. Experienced legal professionals can often provide guidance throughout this process to best ensure a fair and favorable result.

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