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Valuing Collectibles & Antiques for a Divorce

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Living room with antique furniture

Dividing marital property can bring a great deal of stress to couples going through a divorce. The stress intensifies when it comes to valuing collectibles and antiques for purposes of a divorce.

You and your spouse have a right to the antiques and collectibles purchased during your marriage. If you both agree on how to divide antiques or collectibles, this process can be relatively straightforward. This is often not the case, however, and disagreements can be complicated regarding these kinds of assets.

For example, if you want to keep the antiques or collectibles but your spouse only wants the property’s monetary value, you should talk to your divorce lawyer about appraising the property.

If you are not sure how to divide your antiques or collectibles during the divorce, contact Shapiro Family Law. Our property division lawyers work with appraisers who can provide accurate valuations specific to the type of antiques or collectibles you own.  To find out how we can help you, call us at 303-695-0200.

Take Inventory of Your Collectibles and Antiques

Begin by making a list of the collectibles and antiques at issue in the divorce. If possible, include in your inventory:

  • Which spouse purchased the item
  • When the item was purchased
  • Cost of the item

Review your list with your spouse to make sure you have not left out any items.

If you or your spouse purchased antiques or collectibles before you married, these items are considered separate property and not marital property. Separate property is an inheritance, family heirloom, or other property a spouse owned before the marriage. The spouse who owned it before the marriage does not have to split this property during a divorce.

Having Your Property Valued

For the most part, an appraiser assigns a fair market value to your property. Your lawyer can guide you in hiring a valuation expert for the specific antiques or collectibles you and your spouse own.

For instance, if you have a sports memorabilia collection, you want a certified appraiser who specializes in valuing sports memorabilia.

When it comes to fine art, you may want an appraiser certified by a recognized art association. Your lawyer can help you find the right appraiser for the type of art you and your spouse collected during your marriage.

At Shapiro Family Law, we work with experts who can defend their valuations if any parties choose to challenge their decisions.

Choosing a Certified Appraiser

You and your spouse may want to use the same certified appraiser to value your antiques or collectibles. Alternatively,  you may decide to hire separate appraisers to value your property. Two different experts appraising the same collectibles or antiques can result in conflicting valuations.

Should this occur, your divorce attorney can advise you on how to resolve the conflict. For instance, you could split the difference between the valuations or negotiate at rade of other marital property worth just as much as the antiques or collectibles.

You Have Options on Splitting Your Property

You and your spouse can sell the antiques or collectibles and split the proceeds. Or, if you want to keep the items and your spouse does not, you can negotiate to buy out your spouse. Your attorneys can assist with this negotiation process.

If you and your spouse cannot come up with a solution or do not follow your attorneys’ advice to resolve this issue, the judge handling your divorce could make the final decision on the property.

Colorado is an Equitable Distribution State

Because Colorado is an equitable distribution state, judges handling divorce cases must divide marital property fairly and equitably, but not always equally. So, if you and your spouse cannot agree on a valuation of your collectibles and antiques, the judge has the authority to allocate those items or to have the items sold based on an appraiser’s valuation and equitably divide the proceeds.

Without an agreement as to the division, you may lose possession of one or more of your favorite items. Working together with your spouse and your divorce lawyer to handle your antiques or collectibles can help everyone in the long run.

Shapiro Family Law Can Help You with Your Divorce

An antique frame, clock, collectible glassware or figurines . . . all might bring back memories of happier times in your marriage. However, we can help you move forward with your divorce while resolving any issues over your collectibles, antiques, and other marital property.

Shapiro Family Law has helped many individuals in Colorado work through the property division process during a divorce. Our ultimate goal is to help you obtain a fair and equitable settlement for your marital property. 

We also handle other aspects of a divorce or legal separation, such as child support, child support modification, and allocation of parental responsibilities.

If you have questions about your divorce, call us today at 303-695-0200 to speak with one of our lawyers in Denver.