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How do you divide artwork in divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 15, 2020 | High-net Worth Divorce |

Divorce comes with its initial share of complications, but when you add artwork to the equation, the situation only curdles further. Having fundamental knowledge of dividing artwork in divorce helps to speed up the process and understand what moves to make.

You must consider several factors when fairly splitting art. Learn what those factors are and how they affect the final decision.

Marital property

Art pieces created or purchased during the marriage become marital property, meaning they are up for division during divorce. Alternatively, pieces purchased or created before you and your spouse married or after the date of filing are personal property. On a related note, if you or your spouse work as an artist or art dealer, the two of you must discuss whether to deem your income as marital property. The same applies to an art dealer’s business.

Valuing artwork

Besides dividing artwork, you must also determine how to value artwork. One option is for one party to own the copyright for a specific piece while the other party owns the actual art itself.

Legal professionals

Because an artist may not classify created works as property, and because there is no established methodology for how divorce courts treat art pieces, it is a good idea to consult with experienced professionals. Art dealers who have gone through divorce and art law professionals can help you and your spouse create a fair and legal compromise.

Take your time when dividing artwork in your split. You want to ensure you do not accept a poor deal or neglect to protect your rights.