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Deciding who gets artwork when a marriage ends

In a divorce, artwork is eligible to be divided just like a car, kitchenware or any other asset may be. However, there may be questions as to how art should be divided in a Minnesota divorce case. First, it must be determined whether the asset was acquired during the marriage or if it is property of one individual. This may be determined by who put up the money to buy a piece or a collection.

If artwork is determined to be a marital asset, it may then be necessary to determine its value. In some cases, each party may place a different value on the same item. There is also a belief held by some that artwork can’t truly be valued unless it is put up for sale and purchased.

Accurately valuing a piece of art is important because it may be the most valuable asset a couple owns. It may even be worth more than the home where it is displayed. While a prenuptial agreement may address who owns a piece of art or art collection, that may not be enough to settle debates over who owns it. This is because a prenuptial agreement may be considered invalid or may have been created before some of the items were acquired.

At the end of a marriage, it may be necessary to divide assets individuals own jointly with their spouses. An attorney may be able to review a case to determine which assets may need to be divided. It may also be possible to review a prenuptial agreement to determine if it plays a role in how property is split between a divorcing couple.

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