Navigating the Division of Rare and Valuable Collectibles in High Asset Divorces

Navigating the Division of Rare and Valuable Collectibles in High Asset Divorces

High-asset couples often have a unique and complex variety of assets that must be accounted for during a divorce. This is one factor that often makes high-asset divorces far more challenging and time-consuming than a standard split. If you’re facing divorce in Birmingham and you’re concerned about your rare and valuable collectibles, it’s important to work with an attorney with extensive experience in high-asset divorces. 

That’s where our team steps in. We understand the complexities of this type of divorce, and we’re committed to helping you fight for what you deserve. Call Kirk Drennan Law at 205-953-1424 to set up a consultation with our team now. 

Creating a Full Inventory and Establishing Shared Assets 

This process starts with a full and complete inventory of the collectibles. If it’s something that you and your spouse began collecting together after getting married, you don’t have to worry as much about proving that they are marital assets—in most cases, anything obtained during a marriage belongs to both spouses. But if you both brought your own pieces to the marriage to start your collection, it’s important to separate out those owned by one of you and those owned by both of you. Along with your inventory, keep proof of authenticity, any previous valuations, and proof of purchase for each item. 

Securing a Fair Valuation for Every Piece 

This is one of the most complicated parts of this entire process. You can’t really divide assets fairly if you don’t know what they are truly worth. Unfortunately, in the case of rare and valuable collectibles, fair valuations can be expensive and time-consuming. There’s often a limited number of people who are qualified to assess such items, and they may book up months in advance. However, do not skip this step—you risk losing a significant chunk of what is rightfully yours. 

What if you and your spouse cannot agree on a professional appraiser? You are free to seek multiple appraisals. In these situations, it’s common for each party to pay for their own appraiser of choice. You may then take the midpoint of each piece’s two appraisals. Don’t forget to account for market trends and any documentation you have backing up each piece’s legitimacy. 

Considering the Value of the Pieces Together vs. As a Collection 

Another factor that comes into play in these situations is the fact that collectibles may be worth more together than they are apart. Some couples pride themselves on their thematic collections. If items are part of a set or series—for example, rare coins or stamps from a certain era—they may lose considerable value when they are split up.  

Additionally, when it comes to art, collections encompassing an artist’s entire career are often worth more than the artist’s individual works. In these situations, it generally doesn’t make sense to divide collections in half and give each spouse half unless both parties are okay with taking the loss in value. You may need to negotiate which spouse takes which set. Another option is to allow one spouse to keep the entire collection and give up other marital assets to account for that. 

Using Other Parts of the Marital Estate to Negotiate 

It’s important to remember that dividing assets fairly doesn’t always mean splitting up the actual assets. This is especially true in situations involving unique or rare collectibles. In some divorces, both spouses may be equally passionate about the collection; however, it’s common for one spouse to be far more committed to the collection than the other. When there’s an uneven level of commitment to the collection, the other spouse may give up the collection in exchange for a greater share of the other marital assets. Being flexible can help you find an arrangement that fits your needs. 

Explore Your Legal Options During Divorce with Kirk Drennan Law 

With the highasset divorce attorneys at Kirk Drennan Law, you can feel confident that you’ll have the representation you deserve during this difficult time. To discuss your Birmingham divorce in greater detail, set up a consultation with our team now. Just give us a call at 205-953-1424 or fill out our online contact form to get started.  

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