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What Happens to Valuable Artwork and Collectibles in Property Division?

When you get a divorce, all of the marital property needs to be divided up fairly. Some items that can be tough to part with are your artwork and collectibles. Not only can these items possess significant monetary value, but they can also have a lot of sentimental value. If you want to be sure that you are getting a fair share of your artwork and collectibles in the split from your spouse, you should talk to our Morris County, NJ divorce lawyers.

Which Artwork and Collectibles Need to Be Divided Up?

Any artwork and collectibles that could be considered marital property would need to be divided up as a part of your divorce agreement. Whether you collect paintings, sculptures, baseball cards, or instruments, your collection has value, it needs to be split equitably between divorcing couples.

Here is something you need to remember though. Not all of your property is considered marital property. If you acquired something as a couple, with joint money, then that collectible or piece of art could probably be considered marital property. If you bought something before you were married or received something as a gift, it should be considered separate property. You should not have to part with something like that as a result of a divorce.

Who Determines the Value of Artwork and Collectibles?

When trying to figure out the value of artwork and collectibles, you may need to enlist the help of an appraiser. This is someone who knows about your collectibles or your artwork and their market. This can help them value them. If you and your spouse agree on the appraisal, then the collection can begin to get split up in an equitable manner.

Can You Be Forced to Sell Off Artwork and Collectibles?

You may be forced to sell off these items and split the money between you. This can happen when spouses do not agree after multiple appraisals of a collection and cannot come to an arrangement on their own. The court might take the easiest way out, and that is selling off the items and splitting up the money. If this is something that you want to avoid, you and your spouse are going to have to work together.

What Can I Do To Protect My Property?

If you want to protect your own property, you need to keep careful records. Write down everything, including:

  • When pieces were acquired
  • The cost of the piece
  • Whether or not a piece was a gift to one or both of you
  • Any appraisals of value and their dates

If you can show that an item belongs to you and only to you, that can make it easier to hold onto your valuable artwork and collectibles.

Talk to Our Legal Team

If you have more questions about the property distribution process, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark. We can schedule a consultation and tell you more about how our lawyers can be of assistance in this difficult time. Contact our law firm today.