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Valuing art is important to property division

Posted on in Divorce

Whether you are an artist or just have a keen eye for appreciating others' art, you understand the importance of these creative pieces. Over the years and during your marriage, you may have collected or created several pieces that could hold significant value, both to you personally and monetarily.

Now that you are going through a divorce, you may worry that the art collection or even some of your personal works of art could end up in the possession of your soon-to-be ex-spouse. Because Texas is a community property state, it is possible that your ex could end up with an equal portion of the art unless you fight for a different outcome.

What is the value of the artwork?

When it comes to valuing art, there is a bit of a subjective element to it, especially if you created the art yourself. You may have a sentimental attachment to it that you believe makes it more valuable, especially since you put your own time and effort into creating it. For other artwork, the value may depend on the career trajectory of the artist, whether the person has already become established in the art world, and the market for his or her particular work.

Because of the complicated nature of art valuation, it is important to have a professional appraisal. An art gallery owner, art dealer or appraiser may conduct the evaluation of your pieces and overall collection. Of course, you may want to remember that the evaluation of your personal work could seem a bit touchy, simply because you likely have such an attachment to your work.

Create an inventory

In order for an accurate appraisal to take place, you will need to inventory all of the pieces in your collection. You will need to make sure you account for works that are in storage, out on loan to museums or galleries, used in your own home as decor, and even works that have sold. The proceeds from the sales could have an effect on the equal division of property during your case.

If you have worries about losing artwork during divorce, you may want to remember that community property laws do not mean that you and your spouse have to get one of everything in order for the split to remain equal. You could negotiate to keep certain pieces of art in exchange for other equally valued assets. Because addressing such complex assets is complicated, you may want to discuss your particular situation with a divorce attorney.

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