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What’s the best way to divide artwork in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Apr 26, 2022 | Family Law |

You and your spouse were avid collectors of artwork from all around your community. You now have a beautiful collection of pieces that you love displaying in your home.

You never focused much on what the pieces cost, but when your spouse approached you about getting a divorce, you knew that you’d need to find out. Those pieces were expensive, and they are assets that you can leverage in your divorce.

Dividing artwork? Your first step is an appraisal

The first step to dividing artwork is an appraisal. You and your spouse may agree on a single appraiser or opt to work with two and to get the average value of each art piece.

Once you have an appraisal, you’ll know the expected value of the piece if it were to be sold privately or at auction. At that time, you can decide if you will sell the pieces and split the proceeds, divide them between yourselves, allow your spouse to buy your share or try to buy your spouse’s share yourself.

Selling artwork during your divorce

If you decide that you want to sell the profits from the sale of your artwork, then you should work out how you’d like to sell the pieces. You and your spouse should agree on private sales, sales to the public through websites like Etsy or eBay, or selling at an art auction. You may also be able to get the pieces into local galleries, where they’ll be seen by other art collectors interested in purchasing them.

You should also decide what to do with any artwork that doesn’t sell, since that is also a possibility.

How do you split the proceeds of art sales in a divorce?

Louisiana uses a community property system, which means that you and your spouse are normally expected to divide your marital assets 50/50. All assets and debts that you acquired during your marriage should be divided equally.

If you don’t agree with the community property rules, you and your spouse may decide on a different arrangement outside of court and ask the court to approve it. This is something you should discuss before you sell or exchange any assets.