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Property division involving expensive artwork can spark conflict

Dissolving a marriage in Pennsylvania can be tough financially and emotionally. But the financial aspect can be even more complicated for a couple with high-value assets in the form of artwork. From a legal standpoint, however, property division involving expensive art is not much different from dividing a more modest couple's pots and pans.

The value of artwork has increased tremendously over the years. In fact, for art collectors, their pieces of art may be more expensive than the houses in which they hang. This is why art can become a sticking point when two high-net-worth spouses are dealing with property division in divorce.

In some cases, the two spouses can come to an agreement on how to divide their artwork equitably. They can do this by first hiring appraisers to tell them how much their pieces are worth, and then haggling over the artwork division until they reach a mutually acceptable agreement. This avenue allows them to avoid further court intrusion.

However, if the two spouses cannot reach an agreement on how to split their artwork, a judge will have to step in to make the final decision for them. Unfortunately, the judge's property division decision may not necessarily be in alignment with what one or both parties would have wanted. Whether a spouse is going through informal negotiations or through traditional litigation, a divorce attorney in Pennsylvania will strive to ensure that the client's rights are protected and that his or her best interests are upheld during each stage of the divorce proceeding.

Source: townandcountrymag.com, "In a High Profile Divorce, Who Gets the Art?", Julie Belcove, Jan. 10, 2018

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