In most cases, people who are going through a divorce are able to work out who will keep what personal property. But what if that property includes a collection? Especially a collection that may be worth a significant amount because of that Van Gogh painting.
Collections, such as an art collection, are subject to equitable distribution just as other property accumulated during the marriage. The easiest way to deal with the distribution of this property is to reach an agreement with regard to what items each party will take. In some instances, the parties might alternate making selections until all of the artwork is distributed. If one party wants to retain the collection, it may be necessary to have the collection valued. This will establish the amount of money the person who wants to keep the collection will have to pay the other for their interest. If neither person wants to keep the artwork, it will be sold and the parties will share the proceeds from the sale.
When having the collection valued, or distributing the artwork, it is important to provide the certificate of authenticity. This can assist in completing the valuation of the collection. It is also important to keep receipts for artwork that is purchased, as it is possible that one party may attempt to claim that certain pieces are their pre-marital property. If one person can prove that he or she purchased a piece of art prior to the marriage, the other person cannot receive a share of that particular piece of art.
At DeTorres and DeGeorge, we have experience in all aspects of equitable distribution, including the handling of valuable collections. If you are concerned that your art collection may be impacted by your divorce, call 908-284-6005 to schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys today.