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Dividing your artwork: Divorce tips

If you're an art collector, or if you and your spouse made a collection together during your marriage, it can become very hard to split it up. After all, you have an emotional and sentimental connection to some of those pieces. It's about more than just the money. And, even with an appraisal, you may not agree on exactly what a certain piece is worth. How can you divide a set if you're not even sure about the value of each individual piece?

It's definitely hard, and there may not be any easy answers. That said, these tips can help you work your way through the process:

  • Do have an appraisal done. Never assume that whatever you paid for any particular piece is what it is still worth.
  • Make a list of pieces, taking inventory of everything that you have. You do not want to forget anything if it's a substantial collection.
  • Never hide anything, whether it's information or an actual piece of artwork. This can constitute fraud, and you never want to do it. Disclose everything and seek a fair resolution in court.
  • Remember that you can sometimes barter with other assets. Maybe you really want an expensive piece, but you don't care about your share of the vacation home. You may be able to give your ex full control of the real estate in exchange for the artwork you want.

Above all else, just remember that dividing high-value assets is a complex process and that it takes time. Look into all of your legal options and make sure you know exactly what steps to take.

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