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What happens to art when an artist gets divorced?

| Sep 1, 2017 | Property Division

If you work and earn your living off the art you make with your hands, you may have a lot of different art pieces scattered around your home. You might have an entire studio filled with art, as well as art on consignment at art galleries across the world. Artists who own a lot of their art usually have a lot of questions about what will happen to their works in their divorce proceedings.

This is an interesting question because of the way artists can feel emotionally connected to the works they create. In fact, some artists talk about their art pieces the way they’d talk about their children. The law, however, will not view an artist’s art as belonging solely to him or her during the divorce process. Tennessee law will likely categorize an artist’s valuable works as a part of the marital estate if the art was created during the course of the marriage.

In fact, every possession that you acquire — in addition to financial assets and money that you earn — after the day you say “I do” will be considered a part of the marital estate and divisible. This is true for virtually all assets, with some exceptions, like inherited assets that are not commingled with the marital estate. Art created by an artist, unfortunately, will not be considered exempt from the asset division process.

If you’re an artist in the throes of contentious asset division proceedings, you may be able to pursue some strategies to try to keep as much of your art as you can. At the very least, you can employ an experienced divorce lawyer to protect your asset division rights and ensure that you are treated fairly under the law in your divorce process.

Source: Huffington Post, “For Artists, Divorce Means Splitting Up the (Art) Assets,” Daniel Grant, accessed Sep. 01, 2017


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