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There are some works of art in Kentucky that have more worth than the houses they are in. It is no wonder why so many couples argue over paintings and other works that can hold significant value. In some cases, fighting over a painting can be equally as contentious as fighting over child custody. 

Before going forth with divorce proceedings, a couple should document every single asset they own. This includes every work of art. In addition to the piece, the couple should also acquire any documentation that could help a judge decide who gets the painting once the marriage is formally over. 

When did the couple purchase the painting?

It is vital to gather documentation showing when the person bought the painting and who bought it. In the event one spouse brought the painting into the marriage and purchased it before the wedding, that individual would get the painting in the divorce. In this instance, the court views the painting as separate property, which means it is not subject to division. Even if one spouse purchased the painting before the marriage and only received it after, then it would still be separate property. When a couple uses marital funds to buy the painting during the marriage, it is then marital property and subject to division.

Can one spouse buy out the other?

There are several options available to couples who have expensive artwork to divide. For starters, they can decide to sell the piece and divide the money between them. One spouse can opt to buy out the other’s interest in the painting to gain full ownership. Additionally, one spouse can offer other assets to give to the other party. For example, one spouse can give the other spouse a car or vacation property in exchange for full rights to the painting. The best option for any couple comes down to how important the artwork is to both individuals.