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Art collections can complicate high asset divorce

For some New Jersey couples, an expensive art collection serves as a ticket into the upper levels of high society. Art has long been traded among the wealthy, dating back to the 17th century. Today, however, art has become an asset class in and of itself. Investing money into art serves is one way to conceal wealth from tax authorities and other potential losses. For some spouses, an art collection can be an excellent vehicle for shielding wealth from division during a high asset divorce.

Matters can become even more complicated for couples who have homes in multiple locations, or who have an art collection that is so expansive that pieces are stored in various places. Very often, only one spouse is actively involved in creating and maintaining the collection. The other party may be unaware of the full scope of the holdings.

That makes it difficult to determine the value of an art collection. Hiring a forensic accountant and an expert in art valuation is a good place to begin. These professionals can help determine exactly what artwork the couple owns, as well as the value of each piece.

High asset divorce poses a number of challenges, one of which includes determining the full extent of marital wealth. For New Jersey couples faced with this challenge, it's important to build a divorce team that can assist. Having trusted professionals carefully comb through marital assets is the best way to create a property division settlement that is fair and balanced.

Source: newrepublic.com, "How Modern Art Serves the Rich", Rachel Wetzler, Feb. 26, 2018

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