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Getting divorced and the division of marital assets is a complex and emotionally taxing endeavor. It can feel like life has been turned upside down with you and your spouse on opposite sides. Marital property laws differ from state to state, however what is common, is that what the courts requires and what the state requires is that you fully and honestly disclose all of your income, assets and debts. Whether it’s Individual works or a full collection, everything is in play. Is there a proper way to divide assets during a separation or divorce? The court is looking for equitable distribution or a fair division of the assets, with each spouse walking away with an equal net worth.

While it is not good for you to use your spouse’s attorney, it is helpful if you and your spouse can agree to use the same appraiser. Both attorneys, your attorney and your spouse’s attorney will benefit greatly if there is a mutual decision to use the same appraiser. An appraisal is an opinion of value, rendered by an individual third party who has no fiduciary responsibility to either party. It is an arm’s length valuation, by an unbiased impartial professional…. The courts and your spouse will want to know the individual fair market value for each item, essentially, our goal is to get as close as possible to a market truth. If spouse A wants this and spouse B wants this, it essentially works as a puzzle and the court will start moving pieces around until it balances out. What is the fair market value of a particular asset? Do you have any proof of its value? There is a formula that is used to calculate the equalization of property in a divorce.

While fine art is one of the few items in the area of the personal property category that tends to appreciate in value, however, the price that you bought the work for and the value of the work may be greater or lesser at the time of divorce. An appraisal can give you a real time assessment of the fair market value for each item.

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