When an individual owns a piece of art or an entire art collection, it may be difficult to determine how to divide that asset in a divorce. Even if a couple has a prenuptial agreement, the agreement could be ruled invalid by a judge. It is also possible that the document may not address the art as it could have been signed prior to acquiring it.
In many cases, determining ownership of an asset may boil down to who provided the funds for the asset. This may be done by looking at which names appear on the bill of sale. However, it may also be necessary to determine which account the money came from and who is the owner of that account. If an asset is deemed to be acquired during the marriage, its value may be hard to determine for property division purposes.
This is because each party may have a different idea of what art may be worth. In some cases, the only way to find out what it is worth is to actually sell it someone. This may be a moot point if the asset is deemed to be sole property as its owner is likely going to be able to retain ownership of it after the divorce.
In a divorce, marital property may need to be divided in accordance with state law. This may include pieces of art that were acquired during the marriage and paid for with marital funds. An attorney may be helpful when it comes to determining whether a specific piece or a collection is community or separate property. Attorneys may be able to find appraisers or other professionals who may be able to place a value on a given piece or collection as a whole.