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How are Collectibles Divided and Valued in a San Diego Divorce or Legal Separation Case in 2015?

What Is a List of Collectibles No Matter a Legal Separation or Divorce in San Diego Superior Court?

The below is a list of collectibles not in a particular order. There are many others but this is a good generic list for a pending family law case. For many parties, the most important issues are the parenting plan and where the children will live, how much support they will pay or receive and division of real property and retirement plans. For some parties, however, collectibles are one of their most important issues since they may have started the collections when they were children or were gifted or inherited and have great sentimental value. If the collectible was acquired from date of marriage to date of separation, then this is presumptively community property and it is the obligation of the spouse who is claiming a separate property interest to rebut the presumption. This can become, unfortunately, very complicated.

  • Art
  • Antiques
  • Asian Objects
  • Autographs
  • Baseball Cards
  • Books
  • Ceramics
  • China
  • Clocks
  • Crystal
  • Dolls
  • Etchings
  • Figurines
  • Flags
  • Furniture
  • Gold
  • Jewelry
  • Porcelain
  • Presidential Memorabilia
  • Military Memorabilia
  • Music Boxes
  • Native American Objects
  • Paintings
  • Photographs
  • Pinball Machines
  • Rugs
  • Silver
  • Watches
How Does a San Diego Superior Court Judge Value Collectibles in a Family Law Case [Not Paternity]?

Collectibles should be valued at their "fair market value." Fair market value is [in most cases] the amount that would be obtained were the collectible to be sold under normal circumstances. It is not the value of the collectible when it was new. It is not what the party paid for it. It is what it would cost to replace it. These are unreliable indicators of fair market value since a collectible, by its nature, is supposed to increase in price and not decrease as do most other personal property assets. Most other personal property assets, such as a television set, would be normally valued substantially below the sale price or purchase price. The best strategy to determine the fair market value of the collectible is to obtain the opinion of someone who is engaged in the business of selling and buying of that type of collectible. Qualified experts may include art or antique dealers and/or auction house operators.

Division of Collectibles in a Family Law Case

Some San Diego Superior Court Judges will follow an expert opinion such as an appraisal company or expert appraiser much in the same way that they do for real estate values. Some Judges will assign values for these types of collectibles in an “interspousal auction." Some Judges will allow oral testimony of the parties. For many cases, reaching an agreement on the valuation will lessen expert costs and fees and time however each needs to be considered on an individual case basis.

How Can a Local San Diego Law Firm Help You in Your Pending Family Law Case?

The law firm of Doppelt and Forney, APLC has experience with experts in many areas of the law. They can discuss the best strategies and techniques to protect your rights and try and obtain your goals in a free and confidential virtual consultation up to 30 minutes at their office.

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