In a divorce, going through the process of dividing assets can be complicated and stressful, even in the most straightforward of scenarios. However, if you are an artist or an art collector, you will have to go through the process of dividing assets that can be very challenging to value. These assets will also likely hold sentimental value or be seen as a lucrative investment.

When you are researching the topic of asset division, it is important that you understand the laws in California, and that you also take the time to grasp how artwork and similar assets are viewed in relation to marital assets.

Asset division laws in the state of California

California is a community property state. This means that marital assets generally belong equally to a couple — including those pieces of art either created or acquired by one half of the couple during the marriage. The art has to be divided. This can come as an unpleasant shock to any divorcing artist who views his or her body of work as his or her own.

Is all my artwork classed as marital property?

A clear distinction is made between marital property and non-marital property. Any artwork that was created or acquired before you became married will be considered non-marital property, and therefore will not be subject to division.

Can my prenuptial agreement affect the asset division?

As an artist or art collector, it would have been wise to have a prenuptial agreement in place. In doing so, you could have been able to protect all your artwork from division.

You can best protect your assets from division in a California divorce by seeking experienced legal advice as early as possible. There may be ways to minimize your losses once your case is fully evaluated.

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