Ordway Law Group, LLC
Ordway Law Group, LLC
Divorce & Family Law

The impact of divorce on art collections and antiques

On Behalf of | Jun 3, 2024 | Property Division |

Art collections and antiques can complicate the division of marital assets. If you’re going through a divorce, it’s important to know what to expect when splitting up property.

What constitutes separate property?

Under Georgia Code § 19-3-9, the separate property of each spouse shall remain as such, except in special circumstances. Artworks and antiques collected during the marriage are typically treated as marital property.

How are items split up?

The division process involves several steps. First, the court conducts a thorough inventory and appraisal of the collection. It’s important to keep detailed records of each piece, including purchase receipts, certificates of authenticity, and any previous appraisals. This helps with the appraisal process.

Disagreements over item value can lead to prolonged negotiations. In particularly contentious cases, each spouse may hire their own appraiser, potentially resulting in different valuations.

Sometimes, judges order the sale of items if an equitable physical division is impractical. After all, there’s no way to split a painting 50/50.

Preparing beforehand

Given these complexities, couples with art collections or antiques should consider prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that outline property division. They should specify details around the handling of assets post-marriage. Such agreements can help prevent disputes and ensure a smoother division process.

While no one wants to imagine divorce as part of their future, a little planning can go a long way.  Think about where you’d like your prized possessions to end up if your marriage fails. Will they stay with you, go to your spouse, or somewhere else? Now is the time to answer these questions.

Ordway Law Group, LLC – A Reputation For Excellence In Resolving Complex Divorces


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