Splitting artwork in divorce: How can you do it?
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Splitting artwork in divorce: How can you do it?

On Behalf of | Aug 17, 2021 | Property Division

You and your spouse appreciate art and have collected a small number of pieces worth a significant amount of money. You believe that those pieces may have grown in value since you purchased them originally, but your spouse disagrees that they’re worth anything more than you originally paid.

Your spouse has been arguing to keep all of the pieces. They claim that they have an “emotional connection” with them and that their value should be determined by the receipts from their purchase. You, on the other hand, have considered selling the pieces or, at the very least, negotiating for other assets in exchange for them.

What can you do to divide this artwork fairly?

The first step is to determine the artwork’s value. To do this, you and your spouse will need to agree on an appraiser. You both may wish to have your own appraisers.

The importance of an appraisal cannot be overstated. Artwork fluctuates in value, so there is a chance that the pieces you purchased have increased or decreased in value. Knowing exactly how much those pieces are worth is important to negotiating a fair settlement.

Equitable distribution laws apply to your case

In Florida, you are expected to separate your assets fairly, but that doesn’t mean equally. What that may mean for you is that you have a little more negotiating power to get what you want in exchange for the pieces of artwork that your spouse is seeking. For example, if those pieces end up being worth $45,000, you may be able to negotiate a way to keep your $60,000 boat if your spouse is willing to give it up in exchange for the artwork.

Know your assets before you start to negotiate

Knowing the value of the artwork is the best place to start because it will give you an idea of how significant those assets are. You may find that you want to relinquish the pieces if they’re not worth much, but if they are, then you may want to keep fighting for what you believe is your fair share of your marital assets.

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