Kathy D. Sheive Attorney at Law

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The art you create may be at risk during property division

Most couples going through a Florida divorce understand that their marital property will need to be divided between both of them. It is an inescapable part of getting a divorce. You probably expect this process to involve your bank accounts, your home, your vehicles and other assets, but what about the artwork you create?.

Artists do not typically view their original art as assets. It simply never occurs to them that something born from a process of pure creation could be classified as mere property. Unfortunately, family law courts do not agree with that assessment.

If you make art of any kind as a hobby, your spouse may not even want your creations. However, if you make a living from painting, sculpting or writing, your works have value, which means they may be marital property. Many divorcing artists express total shock when they learn that their spouse may receive a portion of their original artworks, or their value, during property division.

Further, there is a chance that the court will forbid you to sell your artworks until you and your spouse reach a settlement. The works you have created will also need to undergo a valuation assessment for the property division process to meet Florida's equitable distribution statutes.

We encourage anyone considering divorce to take a second look at their assets and property. When you understand exactly what is at stake, you will have the best chance of developing a strategy that helps you protect the intellectual property you create. We invite you to learn more about Florida property division on our website.

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