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Valuing collectibles for divorce purposes

Whether you love comic books, figurines, political memorabilia, rare coins or something else, building a collection can be a tremendous amount of fun. Of course, if you gathered some or all of your collection during your marriage, your spouse may have an ownership interest in it. Thinking proactively about what happens to the collection after your marriage ends is a good idea. 

Before deciding to divorce your spouse, you must understand how Ohio judges treat marital assets. Typically, judges split property based on what appears to be equitable for each spouse. This approach does not, though, require each individual to receive exactly half of your assets. Regardless, you must know how much your collection is worth. 

Inventorying your collection 

If you have dozens of items in your collection, you may have forgotten about every piece you own. Therefore, you should begin the valuation process by inventorying your collection. To do so, first identify every piece in the collection. Then, determine who acquired each item. Also, think about whether you or your spouse purchased each piece. If you or your partner owned items prior to the marriage, make a note. 

Finding an appraiser 

Valuing a collection can be difficult. After all, certain pieces probably have greater value than others. Further, some items may increase in value when kept with other pieces in the collection. Either way, finding an appraiser who understands both your collection and the current market is essential. If you and your partner disagree about your collection’s value, you may each need to find an appraiser to help you come up with a realistic valuation. 

When it comes to your collection and your divorce, you likely have some options. You may decide to sell the collection and split the proceeds. Or, perhaps you want to keep the collection and pay your spouse a fair value for it. Regardless of your goals, determining the value of the collection is vital to protecting your property interests.

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Wolinetz & Horvath
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