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Equitable distribution of property complex with high valued art

When a couple decides to divorce, the process can grow more complicated if the couple owns a great deal of assets or has highly valued assets. While equitable distribution of property works well in theory, Pennsylvania couples may still have difficulties dividing assets or knowing who should get what. For couples who collect art, the process can be even more complicated to handle.

When a couple who collects art decides to split, it may be necessary to create a detailed list of the art in question. The price the artwork was sold for should also be documented. Noting when the art was actually purchased is also a vital piece of information when trying to determine who owns the art or if it is indeed marital property.

The value of art can fluctuate. This means it may be in the best interest of everyone to hire an appraiser to get a professional calculation of the monetary value assigned to a work of art. However, couples in the midst of divorce may disagree about who to hire or what value to believe if different values are put forth. One suggestion is for couples to agree to split the difference between the two values given and use that as a base to decide what to sell a piece for or list as an official value.

Artwork may be negotiated as a divorcing couple pursues options for how to go about the equitable distribution of property. In Pennsylvania, they may find successful negotiations to be a time saving way to move forward after the marriage ends. However, if negotiations do not yield results, a couple may have to turn to litigation to divide property, which may include the court assigning a monetary value to certain assets, like high value art work.

Source: online.wsj.com, "Tips for Dividing Art in a Divorce or Death", Daniel Grant, Sept. 21, 2014

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