Not just a painting: Navigating artworks in divorce property division
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Not just a painting: Navigating artworks in divorce property division

On Behalf of | Jan 15, 2024 | Property Division |

When a divorce property division involves multiple assets, especially real properties, smaller pieces, such as artworks and collectibles often get overlooked. These valuable possessions include paintings, sculptures, collectible cards and so on.

Dividing artwork between spouses

Like any other marital property, artworks and collectibles are subject to an equitable division in Colorado. This means courts distribute them equitably and fairly between spouses. When determining what is equitable and fair, courts consider several factors, such as each spouse’s contributions to the marriage and their economic circumstances at the time of the division.

Accordingly, spouses can agree on the split of properties, including artworks and collectibles, as long as the overall division is fair to both parties. This usually happens when there is an existing prenuptial contract or if parties agree to private settle the property division.

Valuing artwork before distribution

Artworks and collectibles are prized assets, the value of which may increase over time. Hence, it is essential to have these properties accurately valued by an appraiser, considering all factors including price adjustments, before dividing them between parties. Each spouse can get their own appraiser if there is a disagreement on the value. In case of clashing results, they can draft a third appraiser to ensure neutrality.

Protecting your property rights

Artwork division in a divorce is a complex process that involves legal, emotional and financial considerations. The unique and often subjective value of art can make it a contentious point in property negotiations. To navigate the process effectively, it is essential for both parties to approach the division fairly and cooperatively.

Moreover, enlisting the help of professional appraisers, mediators, and legal advisors can provide an objective assessment of the artworks’ value and help craft an equitable distribution.