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Addressing Fine Art in Your High-Asset Kane County Divorce

Posted on in Division of Property

St. Charles High Asset Divorce LawyerFor art collectors and enthusiasts, paintings, photographs, sculptures, and other artworks may be some of the most valuable assets they own. Fine art has not only substantial financial value, it often has great personal significance. Both spouses may insist on keeping certain pieces which leads to contentious property division disputes. Furthermore, determining the value of a piece of art is not easy, and professional appraisers are often needed to value art assets during divorce. Unfortunately, some spouses may even use art as a vehicle for financial deception during a divorce. All of the factors can complicate the divorce process significantly.

Determining Ownership of Fine Art

Usually, an asset that a spouse acquires during the divorce is a marital asset. Property that a spouse owned prior to the marriage is that spouse’s property alone. Property that a spouse received in an inheritance or gift is also classified as non-marital property. Unfortunately, classifying property is rarely this cut and dry. Countless factors can complicate the process of determining what property is included in the marital estate, including the commingling of assets.

According to Illinois law, both spouses are entitled to an equitable share of the marital assets during divorce. Of course, you cannot physically divide a piece of art. Divorcing spouses may decide to sell their art and divide the proceeds, but this option may be out of the question for some art lovers. Many people who collect fine art have spent years if not decades amassing specific pieces. The thought of parting with their treasured artwork is devastating.  Unsurprisingly, this can lead to considerable conflict during divorce.

Property Division Settlements

Some divorcing spouses are able to work out an agreement about who keeps which pieces through their respective attorneys. If you are divorcing and you own high-value art, collectibles, or antiques, make sure you hire an attorney with ample experience in complex property division negotiations. Your attorney may need to work with appraisers to determine the value of the artwork. Divorcing spouses sometimes purposely undervalue or overvalue art to manipulate the outcome of the divorce, so an accurate valuation is crucial. Forensic accountants and other experts may also provide insight in contentious high-asset divorce cases.

Contact a Kane County Divorce Lawyer

At Goostree Law Group, our St. Charles high-net-worth divorce attorneys recognize that art, jewelry, antiques, and collections must be dealt with in a cautious, precise manner during divorce. Our skilled team is experienced in property division negotiations, divorce litigation, and asset tracing. Call us at 630-584-4800 to set up your free, confidential initial consultation today.



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