Interested in training for your team? Click here to learn more

Dividing High Value Items in Divorce: Art, Rare Collectibles, Antiques, Yachts, Jewelry

Valuation, Tax, and Other Considerations When Marital Assets Include High Value, One-of-a Kind Assets

Note: CPE credit is not offered on this program

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

This program is included with the Strafford CLE Pass. Click for more information.
This program is included with the Strafford All-Access Pass. Click for more information.

Conducted on Tuesday, May 12, 2020

Recorded event now available

or call 1-800-926-7926

This CLE course will discuss the factors divorce counsel should consider when dividing or liquidating valuable art, collectibles (stamps and coins, rare antiques, baseball cards, etc.), yachts, aircrafts, and other one-of-a-kind items.


Parties who have carefully selected and curated valuable artwork, antiques, cars, boats, or rare collectibles during their marriage may be unable to resolve who should keep this valuable property after the divorce. Those items may also represent a significant percentage of the couple's wealth.

With such high-value assets, the parties and their counsel may dedicate an extraordinary amount of effort on whether an item constitutes marital property. Counsel must prepare for arguments over the timing of the acquisition, the source of funds for the acquisition, and whether the asset was acquired by the sale of a premarital asset.

Unlike other kinds of property that have a recognizable and broad market, high-value art and collectibles have a specialized, subjective, and more narrow audience who may be accessible only through experienced experts. Special care is required to recognize and appraise these types of assets properly, and often experts are difficult to retain. Further, the sale of an appreciated asset may trigger unexpected tax consequences that have to be factored into the global settlement, tax planning, and estate planning.

Listen as this panel, well-versed in the intersection of art (and other collections) and divorce, translates these complex principles into practical guidance, and prepares counsel to address these issues head-on both in negotiation and court.



  1. Identifying marital property
    1. Jointly purchased before marriage
    2. Renovations or restorations during a marriage
    3. Source of funds, heirlooms, inheritances
    4. Impact of prenuptial agreements and appreciation
  2. Selecting the experts
    1. Appraisals vs. valuation
    2. Auction vs. private sale
      1. Impact of liens
      2. Authenticity documentation
      3. Timing issues
  3. Tax and estate planning consequences
  4. Issues with specific categories
    1. When artists and other artisans divorce
    2. Yachts and boats
    3. Guns and horses


The panel will review and discuss questions such as:

  • What are the types of valuable properties that cause the greatest challenges?
  • Do "typical" divorce principles play a role in resolving these disputes?
  • What creative solutions can be pursued beyond "sell and divide"?


Lounsberry, Jonathan
Jonathan W. Lounsberry

The Stevens Firm

Mr. Lounsberry is a family law practitioner handling both simple and complex family law cases, including divorce,...  |  Read More

Owens, Jason
Jason V. Owens

Partner & Senior Counsel
Lynch & Owens

Mr. Owens has represented Massachusetts divorce clients with collective assets exceeding $100 million. His courtroom...  |  Read More

Access Anytime, Anywhere

Strafford will process CLE credit for one person on each recording. All formats include course handouts.

To find out which recorded format will provide the best CLE option, select your state:

CLE On-Demand Video