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Divorce & Splitting the Art
Divorce & Splitting the Art

When you file for divorce, it can be overwhelming and emotional to think about dividing your marital assets. Your possessions often represent the life you have built together and it is common for both spouses to have an emotional (not to mention financial) attachment to the vehicles, home, and household goods. One asset that is often controversial occurs when one of the spouses is an artist and the artwork and future revenues from it must be divided in the divorce.

Most artists do not view their work as marital property. In fact, most artists do not view their work as an asset, but as simply their creation that belongs to them. The court, however, views any artwork created during the marriage as marital property, to which the non-artist spouse may have an equal claim. It should be noted that the artwork (and commissions) created before the marriage are typically not considered marital property.

Valuing artwork can also be a challenge. The couple may use a professional art appraiser, the owner of an art gallery, or an art dealer to evaluate the value of the artwork. It is preferable that the spouses agree on a single expert to determine the value, but both sides can select their own experts to present valuations to the court for a final determination.

Another complication arises in calculating the value of incomplete artwork. Pieces that have not been sold may have a speculative value as well. The court allows the couple to be creative in reaching a resolution. Having an experienced divorce attorney by your side can significantly help in this process.

If you need assistance with your divorce, contact the Men’s Divorce Law Firm today. Our approach to family law is quite simple: we listen to you; we return your calls promptly; we keep you prepared and informed; we respect your time; we understand your concerns; and, most importantly, we care.