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Hanging on to your art after a divorce in Massachusetts

On Behalf of | May 29, 2023 | Divorce

The process of ending your marriage in Massachusetts can involve many variables. One of them may be the status of your art collection. If you are a serious collector, you want to protect your investment. There are certain tactics that you can make use of to do so.

Conduct a full inventory of your collection

You should always enter into a marriage with the possibility of an eventual divorce firmly in mind. This way, if such an event should occur, you and your assets will be prepared. When it comes to your art collection, it pays to think ahead. The best thing you can do to preserve it intact is to arm yourself with a thorough inventory.

Keep careful notes of every new piece of art that you acquire. Make a distinction between pieces you bought or inherited before your marriage and pieces you have collected since. The following factors should always be accounted for:

  • The location of each piece
  • All bills of sale
  • All certificates of authenticity
  • The latest appraisal reports
  • Photographs of each piece, either in your files or in the cloud

Always have a prenup in place

The property that a couple holds may be subject to the process of discovery during the divorce process. As a result, you can be forced to sell off vital pieces of your collection to satisfy the financial demands of your former spouse.

Even worse, you can be forced to hand them over to an ex-spouse if you cannot prove ownership. The best way to avoid this is to have a prenuptial agreement before you agree to be married.

A carefully constructed prenuptial agreement can specify which assets are yours before you enter into a marriage. This can help keep your art collection separate from the assets you share with your partner. It can also allow you to effectively retain them as your property should your marriage end in divorce.