Art assets can be a lot of work upon California divorce

By |2022-04-04T17:07:53+00:0018 Mar 2015|Categories: Family Law, Property Division|

Art assets can be a lot of work upon California divorce

In most property division cases in California, divorcing couples fight over bank accounts, real properties, vehicles, houses and even the furniture. But what if one spouse is an artist who creates extraordinary pieces of art? Will the artwork created by the spouse during marriage be considered marital property?

Artists have extraordinary minds, which makes their divorce and property division battles a little different than others. According to a recent report, an artist-spouse has a tendency to think that the artwork the person created is the person’s sole property. Many of these creations may be stored somewhere in their studio, on display as a decoration in the home or on a consignment to a gallery. While many Californians may think that these creations are separate property, this may not be the case. Usually, family law courts in California view any kind of artwork as a community or marital property, provided that the artwork was created during the marriage. This means that even though the other spouse did not contribute to the creation of that artwork, the person has the right to claim a share over that asset.

With that in mind, any artwork created before the marriage or produced after the couple has filed for divorce is considered non-marital property. This extends to any payment made for the artwork prior to the marriage, such as a licensing agreement, or art commission. And even though the payment arrived after the marriage, it is still treated as a separate property.

When facing property division, an artist spouse should list and categorize artworks from those made before the marriage, and creations made after the couple said “I do.” A full disclosure of assets and properties also applies to artworks.

Distributing the art assets upon a divorce can make the process more complicated than it already is, given that each artwork can have a different value. With that, people may need to take extra steps to protect these assets.

Source: The Huffington Post, “For Artists, Divorce Means Splitting Up the Art Assets,” Daniel Grant, Mar. 6, 2015

About the Author:

Dorie Anne Rogers - The Law Offices of Dorie A. Rogers, APC
Dorie A. Rogers, a Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California, has been an attorney since 1981 with an exclusive family law practice located in Orange County. She is accepting dissolution cases with support and property issues including the use of forensics to ascertain business value, community interests and to establish monthly case flow analysis. Ms. Rogers has substantial experience in high conflict custody litigation involving sophisticated psychological issues. She drafts premarital and postmarital agreement designed to define and establish parties' separate and community property interests. Paternity cases and domestic violence matters are considered part of her practice. Ms. Rogers is a court-approved and court-appointed to represent minor children.Ms. Rogers consults with individuals concerned about entering or exiting a relationship. She advises effective strategies for dissolution or premarital planning. Knowledge is power and good planning affords better results.Specialties: Family Law Specialist, Certified by the State Bar of California
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