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Why you may have to split up a valued collection in a divorce

You’ve always been an avid collector. Whether your passion is art, coins, stamps, cars, comic books, movie memorabilia or something else, your spouse has never shown the slightest interest in your hobby.

Why, then, would you have to part with any of your collection in a divorce? Is there any way to keep your collection together? Here’s what you need to know.

Almost everything you acquire during a marriage is part of the marital estate

Generally, whatever you acquire during your marriage is subject to division in your divorce. That includes not only pieces you have added to your collection over the years, but any increase in the collection’s value over time. That’s the bad news.

The good news is that Illinois uses the “equitable distribution” model when it comes to dividing things, so that means that property is divided in a way that’s fair, rather than straight down the middle with half going to each spouse.

Compromise is the name of the game when it comes to keeping your collection

If you want to keep your collection intact, you have several options. First, you need to know the value of what you have, so that may require an appraisal. Then you can negotiate with your spouse to determine what their fair share of the assets would be.

As long as they are willing, you can:

  • Offer them some tangible item (or items) that they want in the divorce in exchange for not breaking up your collection. For example, maybe your spouse wants the vacation home. If your collection is important enough to you, it may be a fair trade.
  • Offer to pay them in cash or kind for their share of the assets. For example, you might turn over stocks or bonds that equal what they’d receive if they sold their portion of your collection.

There are a lot of aspects to property division in a divorce that can be frustrating. However, good solutions can often lie right around the corner, especially when you have experienced legal guidance.

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