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Who keeps your collection in a divorce?

On Behalf of | Jul 2, 2024 | Divorce

If you collect things, the thought of dividing them in a divorce may be upsetting. Whether you collect art, antiques, classic cars or rare coins, you could stand to lose some of them when you end your marriage.

You might not need to worry so much if you put a pre or post-nuptial agreement in place to protect the items. But what if you didn’t?

When did you get them?

If you acquired the objects before you were with the other party, a court is likely to consider they are yours to keep. If you acquired them during the marriage,  a court would likely consider them marital property and subject to division.

Financial value matters here

Illinois uses equitable division as a guide in a divorce. A court would look to divide things fairly after taking various factors into account. So, if the court believes a fair split would be you keeping 40% and your spouse 60% of the total assets, you need to understand how each asset might affect that. Getting help to accurately value your collections and other assets is crucial here.

You can agree to vary from the equitable division principle

If you and your spouse can come to an arrangement, you don’t need to reach such an equitable split. Doing this could allow you to factor in the sentimental value of particular items. Or to account for the practicalities of retaining certain items or each person’s plans for the future.

For example, maybe your spouse is happy to let you keep all the cars and paintings because they can no longer be bothered with the restrictions of home ownership and possessions and just want enough money in the bank to be able to sail around the world for the rest of their life. 

With appropriate legal help, you can learn more about all the options available for dividing property in a divorce.


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