You may think that it is most difficult to divide financial accounts worth thousands or even millions of dollars during divorce proceedings in Ohio, but that is not necessarily the case. The valuation and subsequent division of tangible assets such as art pieces often present a bigger challenge, not only because of the monetary value involved but the sentimental attachment you and/or your spouse may have formed to the piece.

Because works of art represent unique assets, it is often necessary to hire appraisers with specialized knowledge in the area. According to the Journal of the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, works of art generally fall into one of two categories: decorative art and fine art. There are different criteria for appraising art in each category. 

Decorative art

When determining whether a work falls into the category of decorative art, the question of whether or not you could also label it as a “collectible” can help to clarify the issue. Though potentially imbued with a great deal of sentimental value, the disinterested observer may consider decorative works as “minor” art. The category can include items such as porcelain, art glass, silver or furniture. The rarity or popularity of a decorative art item can influence its value, as well as whether it was the work of a well-known maker.

Fine art

Fine art typically comprises original works of sculpture, photography, painting and printmaking by an established artist. It is often necessary to hire an appraiser with specialist knowledge for valuation, as such works often include a variety of unique details. A number of factors go into the valuation of the piece, including the medium, artist, condition, subject matter and provenance, i.e., the ability to verify its authenticity through documentation.

The information in this article is not intended as legal advice but provided for educational purposes only.