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2015: How are Collectibles, Antiques and Art Objects Valued in a Legal Separation or Divorce in San Diego?

A common question arises in the matters of divorce and legal separation when it comes to the division and distribution of assets. In San Diego, when a legal separation or a divorce case proceeds, attorneys assess and evaluate the personal belongings of both the parties as per the standard procedures. These personal belongings may also include art objects, collectibles, or antiques. But how to evaluate each item and classify or consider it as an antique, art object, or a collectible and what value should be used for community property division purposes. The Law Office of Doppelt and Forney, APLC can assist you with your legal separation or divorce including division of these assets. A free consultation is offered up to 30 minutes by calling 800-769-4748.

In many family law cases in San Diego, the division of assets is a contested issue. First, the character of the assets must be evaluated. Is it community property and acquired from date of marriage to date of separation. If so, were the funds used to purchase the asset community or separate. Also, the value is often contested. The spouse keeping the asset [many times] will value it lower than the spouse who is not keeping the asset who may value higher. Also, was the asset a birthday or anniversary gift or other gift. Also, does the community have a business in these assets such as a jewelry business.

For most cases, the parties will agree to divide and how to equalize the difference in value. In some cases, however, the parties cannot agree. In these cases, there are different strategies for resolution. One strategy is to have values placed on all assets and then the party who agrees takes at that value. Another strategy is to have the assets appraised and Doppelt and Forney, APLC has experts who can assist in this since some assets may be worth thousands [or hundreds of thousands] of dollars. These strategies are also discussed in detail below.

The list of objects that are considered as antiques, art objects, and collectibles while during a divorce or a legal separation in San Diego is as follows:

  • Wedgewood
  • Woodblock prints
  • Watercolors
  • Watches
  • Vintage couture
  • Presidential memorabilia
  • Tools
  • Toys
  • Tiles
  • Tiffany collection
  • Stained glass
  • Tables
  • Snuff bottles
  • Sports equipment and collectibles
  • Silver
  • Slot machines
  • Sculpture
  • Serigraphs
  • Royal Doulton
  • Rugs
  • Radios
  • Record albums
  • Prints
  • Quilts
  • Pinball machines
  • Pottery
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Military memorabilia
  • Native American objects
  • Movie memorabilia
  • Music boxes
  • Lunchboxes
  • Maps
  • Letterboxes
  • Lithographs
  • Lamps
  • Lladro
  • Jewelry
  • Jukeboxes
  • Horse saddles
  • Hummel
  • Frames
  • Furniture
  • Figurines
  • Flags
  • Dolls
  • Etchings
  • Chairs
  • Crystals
  • China
  • Clocks
  • Cash registers
  • Ceramics
  • Board games
  • Books
  • Autographs
  • Baseball cards

Now the question arises whether the valuation is the same in case of a legal separation or a divorce. The answer to this question is yes. All these items mentioned above are valued similarly, and there is no difference in valuing them, whether it is a divorce case or a legal separation. Whereas in a paternity case, there are no valuations as no division of debts or assets takes place.

Another point to ponder is how to determine all these valuations. It is a common question during the case of a divorce or legal separation. The best approach while dealing with such scenarios is reaching an agreement based on the values of each item. After doing so, it would be easy for both spouses to divide each of those items declared as their personal properties among each other equally as they see fit. If both the parties cannot manage to come to terms and divide and value each object as per each other’s consent, then appraisal from a professional is left as their last resort. Here are some companies in San Diego that perform the operations of appraisals in such concerns. They provide professional appraisals to value such items during a divorce or a legal separation. These are just some links provided as resources, and none of these companies are endorsed or recommended.

These companies value each item based on their fair market values. However, it is quite difficult to value some products depending upon how antique and obsolete they are. During the valuation of a certain product, there are many aspects to look at. Some issues that professionals face during the valuation of a certain item are whether to include other activities that might have affected the value of a certain item in the past. Commissions and costs of sale are a few of these debatable concerns, especially in the case of those items that are not being sold at their fair market value or does not belong to both the spouses.

Valuing a certain item can also involve a solution that is made after keeping in mind the consent from both parties. It is known as ‘interspousal auction’ in which both the parties are asked to place bids for that particular item. But such a solution might not be considered as appropriate in case if both the spouses are not of equal financial status and the Judge of the Superior Court would not “flip a coin” as not legal standard.

The Doppelt and Forney law firm, APLC, has extensive experience in the sector of the division of debts and assets as well as all aspects of family law. Should you feel the need to get a free consultation regarding hiring a lawyer for your San Diego family law case, please call them and get your appointment scheduled.

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