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What do you know about dividing artwork in divorce?

September 29, 2021 | Asset Division, Divorce, Firm News

Not only do you have a lot of assets to sort out in your divorce, but you also have assets most couples do not. How do you and your current spouse divide your artwork collection?

The American Bar Association explores a unique property division conversation. Art dealers, artists and art collectors deserve to know how to navigate dividing artwork during a divorce.

Questions to ask

When deciding what to do with your art collection, you must ask yourself a few questions. From when you originally purchased the art until now, has the work’s value increased? Did you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse buy the art during your marriage? Did you or your current partner inherit any of the art you own?

Marital property

Colorado represents a marital property state. That means that if you and your spouse bought artwork during your marriage, you may have to divide it as part of your divorce settlement. Art that either of you created or bought before your marriage or after filing for divorce becomes non-marital property.

Valuing and dividing art

The law lacks a concrete way to handle artwork in divorce, so you have a bit of freedom in how you divide art. For instance, one of you may take physical possession of art while the other holds the copyright. The two of you can consult with an art professional to determine a value for art pieces.

You may need to use some creativity to divide art in a way that satisfies both parties. Hopefully, you feel you and your soon-to-be-former spouse have a viable starting point.

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