Dividing Antiques and Artwork in a Divorce

When a married couple decides to split up, they need to divide up all of their possessions and property. This can become a difficult process, especially if the couple has a collection of artwork or antiques. Dividing antiques and artwork in a divorce must be done according to Arizona laws. In Arizona, property that is acquired during the marriage belongs to both parties.

Division of Property in Arizona

In Arizona, property and assets that are purchased during a marriage are considered marital property. Community property, also called marital property in other states, include homes, vehicles, land, furniture, jewelry, money, collectibles, and other things. Antiques and artwork are to be included in the general category of property.

Exceptions to the Community Property Rule

Before dividing assets in a divorce, it is important to make sure that property is properly categorized. There are some exceptions to the community property rule. Property that belonged to someone before they were married is not generally included in community property. Also, items received as an inheritance to one party, and gifts made to one person belong to that person alone.

Transmutation of Property in Arizona

In some cases, property ownership may be converted, or transmuted, into community property. This is done by making a gift to a spouse, by an agreement made between spouses, or by the act of combining assets. Therefore, in some instances, property that originally belonged to one party becomes community property.

Determine the Value of Important Assets

Before you can adequately divide important assets such as artwork and antiques, you must first determine their value. This should be done through a formal appraisal in order to ensure that the current market value is obtained. This is particularly essential for expensive pieces of art, especially if they have not been appraised for a long period of time. Neither party should be allowed to sell or transfer any of the pieces until the divorce is finalized.

Dividing Assets Such as Artwork and Antiques

Divvying up important and expensive assets can be difficult in a divorce. Sometimes in addition to financial concerns, people have an emotional attachment to the items. Make a list of all your valuable works of art, along with their values, so they can be more easily divided. When couples are unable to come to an agreement about assets, the court will determine the appropriate division.

Call the experienced legal team at Udall Shumway PLC to learn more about distribution of assets in a divorce.

This blog should be used for informational purposes only. It does not create an attorney-client relationship with any reader and should not be construed as legal advice. If you need legal advice regarding Dividing Antiques and Artwork, or any other family law issue, please feel free to contact Sheri D. Shepard at 480.461.5300, log on to udallshumway.com, or contact an attorney in your area. Udall Shumway PLC is located in Mesa, Arizona and is a full service law firm. We assist Individuals, families, businesses, schools and municipalities in Mesa and the Phoenix/East Valley.