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Dividing art in a high asset divorce

When going through a divorce -- especially a high asset divorce -- the inevitable question of property division will always come into play. While money is generally easy to divide, paintings, sculptures and art can be extremely difficult to split up.

When two individuals who own a great deal of art decide to get a divorce, it is important that they create a list of the art they each purchased before their marriage. They must also create a list of art purchased during their marriage. Also included in the list should be any art that was sold and the price at which it was sold.

Whether it is art or some other kind of asset, it is vital for spouses to identify whether it was purchased before or after the marriage. If the item was bought before the marriage, then it will not be considered as joint marital property and it will simply go to the spouse who it originally belonged to.

When it comes to dividing art that is considered marital property, it will be important to have the artworks appraised. When a market value is established for the art pieces, then they can be divvied up according to their value. One spouse might choose cash over art, an art piece could even be sold in order to divide its value equally, or art pieces could be divided equally in accordance with their market value.

There are a lot of solutions that can be found when it comes to resolving the division of such possessions in a high asset divorce, and preferably such solutions are found out of the courtroom as opposed to within it.

Source: The Wall Street Journal, "Tips for Dividing Art in a Divorce or Death" Daniel Grant, Sep. 22, 2014

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