Art and antiques often hold a special place in our lives and homes. They capture our attention, evoke emotions, and remind us of the moments that led to their acquisition. Perhaps you and your spouse spent years meticulously curating a collection of contemporary figure paintings, each piece a testament to your shared passion. Or maybe you’ve treasured a landscape painting from a Savannah, Georgia gallery, a vibrant reminder of the afternoon spent wandering through the historic district. Or perhaps you’re the proud owner of an antique bread bowl, a charming find from a vacation in France, its patina carrying stories of past owners and a cherished shared memory.
These possessions, unique and filled with meaning, present a particular set of challenges in a divorce. They are not just commodities with a simple price tag; their value is often hard to quantify. Each piece carries a mixture of financial value, personal sentiment, and shared history. Their worth goes beyond monetary considerations, making the division in a divorce process not just a financial negotiation, but also an emotional journey. Let’s explore how the division of art and antiques unfolds in a Georgia divorce, and the considerations you need to keep in mind as you navigate this complex process.
Establishing a Fair Market Value in Georgia
The first step in the division process is establishing a fair market value for each item. In Georgia, the value is based on what a willing buyer would pay a willing seller, not on an individual’s sentimental attachment. This requires engaging a professional appraiser who specializes in high value art and antiques. It’s crucial to get this right as it forms the basis for the division of these assets. If there’s a disagreement over the appraisal value, you may need to consider obtaining a second opinion from another professional.
The Role of Equitable Distribution in Georgia
In Georgia, the principle of “equitable distribution” guides the division of marital assets. This doesn’t necessarily mean equal division but rather what the court considers fair, based on several factors such as each spouse’s financial situation and contributions to the marriage. Art and antiques acquired during the marriage, or those that significantly appreciated in value due to the efforts of either spouse, generally count as marital property. Working with a knowledgeable attorney can help ensure that the equitable distribution process properly considers the value of these assets.
Consider Alternative Dispute Resolution Methods
Dividing high value art and antiques can become contentious. If you and your spouse can’t agree on the division, you might want to consider alternative dispute resolution methods like mediation or arbitration. These processes can help facilitate communication and negotiation, potentially leading to a resolution that respects both your financial interests and emotional ties to the pieces.
Tessie D. Edwards & Associates, P.C. – Your Support in Complex Asset Division
At Tessie D. Edwards & Associates, P.C., we understand that art and antiques are not just possessions, but pieces of your shared history and passion. Let us use our experience and understanding to ensure the value of these cherished pieces is properly recognized and equitably divided. We’re here to help you with this complex process, working towards an outcome that respects both your financial interests and the emotional significance of your art collection. Call us at (404) 330-8833 for a confidential consultation to learn more about how we could assist in your case. Let us be your guide to a fair and equitable resolution in your divorce.