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Dividing art you bought and art you create in divorce

On Behalf of | Dec 28, 2021 | High-net Worth Property Division |

Divorce gets complicated the more assets you have and even more so when you or your spouse bought or created art during your life together. Knowing what to expect in the evaluation process may help smooth the divorce process on your end.

It all comes down to knowing or guessing what a piece of art is worth at any one moment.

Art as an investment

When you purchase a piece of art, it is unlikely to change in price or value the next day. But if you invest in an artist who makes it big later in life, that art’s value may balloon with their fame. In that case, you stand to make a profit on the sale.

According to Money Under 30, art market sales exceeded over $67 billion, making it a tempting investment for a married couple. In a divorce, the courts do not look at your receipt for how much you bought a canvas. They value the art piece at its potential worth at the time of divorce — meaning it may weigh more heavily in property division.

Art as a creation

Anyone has the potential of creating art and once you fix an art in a medium — such as canvas or even digitally on a hard drive — it has copyright protection. In the same way as any art you purchase, the art you create has the potential to have a high value.

Art is generally not the most vital of priorities when dividing marital assets, but they are sometimes the most valuable. It is important to lean on your resources when navigating the tricky aspects of property division to make the split as fair as possible.