Do We Split the Art Collection if We Get a Divorce?

Posted by William H. Sherman on Jun 22, 2014 | 0 Comments

Question:  My husband and I live in Sandy Springs.  He works in Atlanta and I work in Alpharetta.  We are going to get divorced because there has been some physical and verbal abuse.  There have been drinking and drug issues throughout our marriage.  Therapy has not worked and marriage counselling has not worked.

We spent a lot of money buying art.  For over 30 years we have collected art.  We traveled all over to buy modern art, sculptures and prints and posters.  We are pretty well-known in the Atlanta art community and some of our best works have been loaned to museums like the High Museum of Art and at the Booth Western Art Museum.   It is a big asset for us.  I need to know how the collection will be split up if we divorce.  I'm worried that I won't get half.

Answer:  Generally, with a long duration marriage and the fact that both of you participated in buying decisions and both of you utilized resources to make purchases, the collection would likely be split evenly between you and your husband.  In fact, from the information you have provided, it does not appear that your husband would have a strong argument to give you anything less than half the collection.

In our divorce practice we deal with the valuation of collectibles, including art, routinely.  There are various ways to value an art collection, including local experts and, if necessary, international experts, such as specialists at prominent auction houses.  In some divorce situations, a spouse will accuse the other spouse of hiding assets.  It is very important to locate all assets and have them valued correctly in a divorce.

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About the Author

William H. Sherman

With a professional background that includes serving as a Senior Assistant County Attorney and as an Assistant Attorney General, attorney William H. Sherman has great experience, a broad range of legal knowledge and a proven record of success.  Each of Mr. Sherman's clients gets the full benefit of his experience.  Because attorney Sherman has worked for governmental organizations, large corporations and clerked for a judge, he has handled a wide variety of cases from negotiation and trial to successful appeal. Mr. Sherman is very proud of his reputation as a problem-solver who is always available to his clients.  Active in the community, Mr. Sherman and his wife, attorney Valerie Sherman, support many community organizations, sports teams and charities.  Call him now and let his experience work for you.


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