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Appraising collectibles is vital in divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 27, 2024 | Property Division

When going through a New Jersey divorce, all marital property is subject to division — and that makes it essential to evaluate any collectibles like art or collections of things like rock ‘n’ roll memorabilia or fine wines.

Even though one spouse may have been the collector and the other spouse had little or no interest in the items, these collections have value and shouldn’t be discounted when divvying up what’s left of the marriage.

How to get a collection appraised

That of course depends on the nature of the collection. Online appraisal sites can be a good jumping-off point for collectibles. But for items with an international market, e.g., the art market, it might be best for each spouse to retain a separate appraiser. Values in dispute can be added together and divided by two to get an average value acceptable to both spouses.

Is it worth enough to fight over?

While you might not see any value in the broken neck of a guitar tossed into a crowd at a concert, those who fought over the broken instrument in the pit feel quite differently. Even the most arcane collectibles have value to those who collect items from that genre. At the least, the value of your spouse’s KISS collection can be used as leverage for something else that actually matters to you.

Prioritize what you really want 

Don’t walk away leaving money on the settlement table. Draw up a list of priorities that include what you need to begin anew post-divorce. Bring your list to any negotiations with your soon-to-be ex-spouse to help you remember your best strategies to get what you want.