Parting With Valuable Collections in High-Asset Divorces

Trouble has been brewing in your marriage. As a high-income earner, you frequently travel for your job. And all that time away from home has led to problems on the personal front placing a strain on your marriage. Divorce is inevitable, and now you wonder whether many of the assets you accumulated will remain yours.

Many unique challenges surface when high-net-worth couples divorce. Besides having questions about tax issues, alimony, stock options, retirement assets and estate planning, a person in this situation must always consider division of property. An affluent person’s asset portfolio may include items the average person does not have. The list may include priceless collections of art, wine and jewelry; yachts and luxury cars; and collectibles such as sports memorabilia and comic books. Who will get these after the divorce?

Create inventory, get collections appraised

For years, you invested a great amount of money into these collections, even well before your marriage. However, some of the collections were accumulated during your marriage. What sets apart the latter group is that the items purchased during your marriage are marital property and subject to equal division.

You may have to choose to fight over some of these items, agree to sell them or amicably divide them. When choosing to sell or divide the items, here are some steps to consider:

  • Tally and record every collection and item in question. By making an inventory, you have a more complete idea of what you have. As a result, you may have to part with your collections of Persian rugs, fine art, precious jewelry and rare coins.
  • Contact someone who is knowledgeable in valuations in order to determine the market value of the items in question. The result: You will have a better understanding of how much these collections are worth.

You and your spouse are parting ways, but, take heart, you likely will only have to part with some of your valuable collections.

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