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Is art an asset when you file for divorce?

Getting a divorce is difficult for anyone, but when you're an artist, it can mean giving up a little bit of yourself through your work. Artwork is an asset, and that means it can be divided in divorce.

When you were painting your latest piece, you probably didn't think of it as a marital asset. It's creative, and it's something you want to sell, but without a valuation, there's no way to know what your work is worth. The truth is that any artwork you create is an asset, and as such, your spouse may attempt to obtain it in the divorce.

Not all your art may be a marital asset, though, so consider when you made the pieces. If you made them recently, after your separation, then you have the sole claim on the piece. The same is true if you made the piece before you got married. It's a good idea to take inventory, write down the dates you created each piece, and present it to your attorney.

You will need to list each piece that you made, when it was made and how much each piece you've sold went for. You also want to show which pieces have not yet been sold. This helps determine the value of your portfolio. Don't hide your pieces to try to make things easier on yourself. If you do hide assets, between 50 and 100 percent of those assets can be awarded to the other party. It's not worth the risk.

If you want to make sure you retain your work, your attorney can help. Take the time to make a solid inventory and have your work valued, so you know what you have to negotiate with.

Source: HuffPost, "For Artists, Divorce Means Splitting Up the (Art) Assets," Daniel Grant, accessed May 01, 2017

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