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Art collections during divorce

On Behalf of | May 12, 2023 | Divorce |

Married Georgia residents with significant art collections should take steps to protect their collections in case they get divorced. No one wants to think they might end up divorcing, but the statistics don’t lie. You may face divorce at some point in the future.

Art collections are a unique class of asset, in that they usually represent both a sizeable monetary part of an estate and items of tremendous sentimental and personal value. As such, allocating an art collection during a divorce can be tricky. But certain things can make it easier.

A prenup is your best friend

If you’re entering a marriage with an art collection, creating a prenuptial agreement is usually wise. A prenup is a prudent choice, but that’s doubly true if you want to maintain control of your art collection after a divorce.

Protecting your art collection if you don’t have a prenup

While a prenup might be great advice, it’s not very helpful if you find yourself in a divorce proceeding and don’t have one. In this case, a divorce court may consider your art collection a joint asset.

It’s important that you carefully inventory the art pieces you own. This should include documentation of whether you obtained a piece before or after marriage. You have a stronger claim to items obtained pre-marriage, while items you got during the marriage are more likely to be considered joint assets.

Your art collection may be on the table when dividing your marital assets. And in that case, it’s a question of what kind of bargain you can strike if you want to keep the entire collection.

It might be worthwhile to offer other major assets to keep the collection, or prioritize which pieces are most special to you.

Art collections can be casualties of a divorce, especially if you don’t have a prenup protecting them. A prenup is the best line of defense, but you may still be able to protect your collection even if you don’t have such an agreement.