For many wealthy Texas couples, an art collection serves as a visible reminder of their place in high society. In certain social circles, amassing a collection of art is considered standard practice. When such couples enter into a high net worth divorce, the value of that collection can become a central focus. Unfortunately, determining the value of an expansive art collection can be a challenging task.
One problem arises when one spouse is unaware of the full scope of the family’s art collection. Pieces may be stored in various locations, or in different residences. Also, if only one spouse is actively involved in managing the collection, the other may be unaware of just how valuable certain pieces are. The value of art changes over time, and can also fluctuate based on market conditions. A piece purchased for a few thousand dollars one year could be worth exponentially more just a few years later.
If one spouse is unscrupulous in his or her dealings, art can serve as a powerful means of shielding wealth during a high asset divorce. The other partner must take aggressive action to protect his or her interests. That may include hiring an art valuation expert and even a forensic accountant to determine the full scope of the family’s collection.
For Texas couples who are concerned about reaching a balanced and comprehensive property division outcome, building a solid divorce team is an excellent place to start. Art valuation is a distinct skill that requires professional assistance. Once a family’s art collection has been inventoried and valued, the property division portion of a high net worth divorce can move forward.
Source: newrepublic.com, “How Modern Art Serves the Rich“, Rachel Wetzler, Feb. 26, 2018