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Dividing Collectibles in a Divorce: What You Should Know


While we can all hope and try for happily ever after, that’s not always the case for every couple. If filing for divorce isn’t already painful enough, dividing collectibles in a divorce can often be just as difficult as child custody battles.

There’s a sentimental value placed on artwork, collectibles, and memorabilia. And, with each item, there are the attached emotions that go along the thought of possibly losing it. That being said, dividing collectibles in a divorce can be one of the more painful parts of the process.

Each asset will be valued and is subject to equitable distribution between both parties. However, if the item was yours prior to the marriage, then it’s not a part of your divorce settlement, whereas those items purchased after your marriage date are part of the settlement. Some examples of these types of collectible items that can be divided in a divorce include:

  • Collections, such as stamps, letters, coins, cards
  • China and decorative plates
  • Memorabilia and figurines
  • Wine or liquor
  • Antiques
  • Artwork

These items aren’t valued by your emotional attachment or their purchased price. They are evaluated by a certified appraiser who assesses their fair market value.

Typically, the choice of appraiser is agreeable by both parties, but sometimes an additional appraiser may be hired to value the items, as well. After everything has been appraised, there are a few ways to manage dividing the collectibles in a divorce, as listed below.

#1: Sell & split

This option means that the collectibles would be sold, and the monetary value would be split between both parties.

#2: Divide

Another option is to divide the collectibles evenly based on their appraised fair market value.

#3: Buy the other out

The third option is for one party to pay for the other half, essentially buying the other party out.

Need Help Dividing Collectibles in a Divorce?

There’s a simple equation to understanding why hiring an attorney to help with dividing collectibles in a divorce can be a good idea:

Sentimental Value + Negotiating Property Division = Contentious Divorce

Filing for divorce is challenging enough. When you add property division to the mix, you have the makings for a heated situation.

It’s always a good idea to talk things over with a lawyer before you say “I do,” so they can help keep your belongings yours in case of an unforeseen divorce down the road.

Parting with collectibles, artwork, and memorabilia is not what you had in mind when you got married, but things don’t always work out the way you plan. Contact WiseLieberman today to learn more about how our Boca Raton asset division lawyers can help you.

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