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Art is one of the most bitterly contested assets in any divorce. Pieces of art, antiques, paintings and sculptures do not necessarily have only a financial or monetary value, but can also have tremendous emotional value for spouses. That means that some fights can break out over who gets to keep the paintings.

People who are attached to their art, like art collectors, are much more likely to be emotionally attached to these pieces, and giving these up is not easy for them to do.

If you have a large art collection that you’re dreading having to split during your divorce, first make an inventory of all the pieces that you have. Make different categories for the pieces that you owned before the marriage, and purchased during the marriage. Also make an inventory of the pieces that have already been sold, and the prices that you sold them for. Finally, make a list of all the artwork that has not been sold.

Any art, paintings or sculptures or other items that you obtained before you got married, or after you separated from your spouse, is not considered marital property. That belongs only to you, and is not up for division. However, any pieces that you acquired during the marriage, is considered as community property.

Get an appraisal done. Usually spouses prefer to hire different appraisers. If your appraisals offer two different estimates, you may split the difference between the two appraisals. You can also decide to take this appraisal difference into account, when you decide to divide specific pieces.

If you and your spouse can agree to do so, dispose of most of the pieces, and split the proceeds.

To understand more about how you can protect your rights during asset division, speak with a Colorado divorce lawyer.