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What Happens to Valuable Artwork in a Boca Raton Divorce?


In theory, dividing artwork during your Florida divorce is no different than dividing household items and other assets. If the artwork is considered a marital asset, it’s subject to Florida’s laws on equitable distribution. However, it’s understandable that you might be concerned about the value given that some pieces of art can be worth in the five- or six-figure range at a minimum. For those serious art collectors, what’s hanging on the walls may be worth more the house during a divorce.

Even if you only have one or two pieces on your wall that were acquired during the course of your marriage, you are entitled to receive a portion of their value in your divorce. It doesn’t matter if the style is not exactly to your liking or it’s something you would never display in your new home, the point is that some of your money went to its purchase and therefore you want to recoup some of the investment you made.

Do You Have a Prenuptial Agreement?

Having a valid prenuptial agreement could change how the distribution of certain assets is handled. Is there a clause in the prenuptial agreement about what happens to artwork purchased during the course of the marriage? Many couples who already collect artwork prior to getting married have a prenuptial agreement drawn up to address specific assets like these.

Artwork in One Spouse’s Name

Don’t assume that just because artwork is in your name alone that it is not subject to the division of assets phase of your Florida divorce. If any community property funds were used to purchase the artwork, then you spouse would be entitled to a portion of the value. The only way to keep it as separate property is to keep detailed records that show you used completely separate funds to purchase the artwork. However, if there was some way that those funds were commingled with community funds, you may still be required to concede a portion of the artwork’s value.

Placing a Value on the Artwork

Placing a value on the artwork is where emotions can get the best of people in a divorce. At the end of the day, it almost comes down to a battle of the appraisers. In some cases, you may even see multiple appraisers on each side who have provided different valuations. When it comes to art appraisals, it is much more subjective than other types of assets. In the event you and your ex cannot reach an agreement on the valuation of your art, the court will need to decide for you.

If you have a large collection of other valuable items like rare books, antiques, etc., it’s important to let your Boca Raton family attorney know up front so they can work on getting proper valuations to help you ensure you get to keep what is rightfully yours and get a fair amount for what is rightfully your share.

Contact a Boca Raton Divorce Attorney Today

If you are preparing to get a divorce in Florida, or need other assistance with any other family law matter, contact the Boca Raton divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Schwartz | White today to schedule an initial consultation.


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