What happens to valuable artwork and collectibles during property division in New York?

What happens to valuable artwork and collectibles during property division in New York?

property division

Regardless of which divorce route you choose, you will need to handle property division. This contentious issue can often turn even the most amicable divorces ugly, as valuable assets are at stake. While couples may not care much about dividing ordinary items like furniture, disagreements can arise over who gets what regarding items with significant monetary or sentimental value. In most cases, valuable artwork and collectibles are a typical disagreement amongst couples as these assets are investments that you can see appreciate significantly over time. Many couples wonder what will happen to their art collections and collectibles during property division. Please continue reading to learn about the options for dividing these assets and how a talented Nassau County Division of Assets Attorney can help you navigate this complex legal process. 

How are valuable artwork and collectibles divided in a New York divorce?

Property division is a significant point of disagreement for couples going through a divorce, especially regarding their valuable assets. While they may not care much about splitting up everyday items like furniture, artwork, and collectibles can be worth a significant amount, causing couples to fight tooth and nail over who will reign victorious in receiving them. However, it is critical to note that New York is an equitable distribution state. This means it is up to the court’s discretion to decide how a couple’s marital property will be fairly divided between each party.

If the valuable artwork and collectibles were yours before marriage, they would not be subject to equitable distribution as they are considered separate property. Separate property is not subject to be split between a divorcing couple as these assets were accumulated outside of the marriage. Therefore, no valuation is necessary. If, however, they were acquired during the marriage, they will be considered marital property, subject to equitable distribution. Ultimately, both spouses will have a legal right to the artwork and collectibles.

Will I have to hire an appraiser?

Couples must hire an appraiser to determine the fair market value of all the assets owned. Couples must have an accurate value of their marital property to ensure they receive a fair share of their marital assets during property division. Negotiating or reaching a settlement will be much more difficult if they do not have a precise value of their marital property. Therefore, an appraisal is beneficial to ensure you receive an accurate value of your property. An appraiser can objectively evaluate your asset’s values.

If a divorcing couple cannot reach a mutually beneficial divorce settlement on how their art collection or collectibles will be divided, the decision will be left up to the court. Generally, the court will liquidate the collection and split the proceeds accordingly. However, this can lead to a significant tax bill. If you do not want to split the collection, one party can buy the other out, or they can negotiate a trade. For example, if you keep the art collection, your spouse would get to keep the house in exchange.

When filing for a divorce, contact a skilled attorney from The Pollack Law Firm, P.C., who can help safeguard your valuable artwork and collectibles during property division.



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