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How to handle collectibles in gray divorce settlements

On Behalf of | Jan 24, 2024 | Divorce

Marital assets take many forms with real estate and financial accounts being prominent examples. However, other assets have value, such as collectibles. Some collectibles, including artwork, could be worth significant sums. Therefore, they could become prominent in settlement negotiations during a gray divorce in California.

Gray divorces and issues about collectibles

A gray divorce refers to a marriage dissolution between older spouses. While some gray divorces involve marriages that did not involve a union of many years, a gray divorce could center on a couple that remained married for many decades. Regardless, California is a community property state in which the spouses are entitled to a 50/50 distribution of assets acquired during the marriage, although some exceptions apply.

Throughout the marriage, one or both spouses may procure many collectible items. Rare coins, wines, paintings and classic automobiles are examples. During divorce settlement negotiations, the parties may work amicably together to evenly divide the assets. One spouse may take artwork valued at a specific amount while the other spouse asks for a coin collection of equal value.

Points of consideration

One spouse might need to learn more about how much the collection is worth or the full extent of it. Performing a complete inventory audit and appraising the full value of the collectibles might prove helpful. Conducting inventory tasks on the collections could work against a spouse attempting to hide assets subject to property division.

If neither spouse wishes to own the particular items, selling the assets and dividing the proceeds may be possible. Each divorce case will have its particulars. The parties may negotiate an equitable settlement with or without mediation. When the parties cannot agree, a judge will render a decision on the assets.