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What happens to art collections and jewellery in a divorce?

WHAT WILL HAPPEN TO MY ART COLLECTION?

If the parties are unable to agree on who shall retain particular pieces of the art collection, then the court will consider a number of factors. This may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • whether the art was bought or inherited;
  • whether there are any records of ownership;
  • discussions had between the parties in relation to who will retain the art; and
  • the views and wishes of the parties.

The court also has the discretion to order that such artwork be sold, or that one party retain the artwork and pay the other party an amount equivalent to their share. If the matrimonial pot is large enough, then the art may be of less significance to the court, and it may be left to your lawyers to negotiate who retains particular pieces of the art collection.  

CAN I KEEP MY JEWELLERY?

Jewellery collections, including watches and family heirlooms can be of significant value. This can often cause further disputes when the parties are seeking to divide their assets following their separation.

In most cases, a spouse may keep the jewellery that was gifted to them. However, there are exceptional circumstances where this may not be the case. If the jewellery is an old family heirloom, or the giver can prove that the item was to be returned if the marriage ended, then they may be entitled to have the item returned to them.

CAN I KEEP MY ENGAGEMENT RING?

According to section 3 of the Law Reform (Miscellaneous Provisions) Act 1970, the gift of an engagement ring shall be presumed to be an absolute gift.

This presumption may be rebutted by proving that the ring was given on the condition that it should be returned if the marriage did not take place for any reason.

WHAT IF THERE IS A DISPUTE REGARDING THE VALUE OF THE ART OR JEWELLERY COLLECTION?

If the value of any assets remains in dispute between the parties, then the court may appoint an independent expert to value the particular item.

At Vardags, we have extensive experience working with reputable experts who specialise in providing valuations on unique and rare pieces for the purposes of family law matters.

 

If youre considering or going through a divorce, click below for a free initial consultation with one of our expert divorce solicitors.

 

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The information on this website is intended as a guide and does not constitute legal advice. Vardags do not accept liability for any errors in the information on this website, nor any losses stemming from reliance upon the statements made herein. All articles and pages aim to reflect the legal position at time they were published, and may have been rendered obsolete by subsequent developments in the law. Should you require specialist advice, tailored to your situation, please see how Vardags can help you.

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