High-asset couples pursuing a divorce do not always have the same challenges as most couples going through the same experience. The same issues may arise, but when they do, there is an asterisk attached to them. Whatever issue confronting an average couple in divorce often gets magnified when affluent couples are involved.
Take for instance the various items that an affluent person may have purchased and collected over the years. The yacht. The luxury and muscle cars. The priceless wine collection along with the priceless fine art. The jewelry and precious minerals along with pop culture collectibles such as sports and entertainment memorabilia. And do not forget the racehorses. What is to become of this group of disparate and valuable items when high-asset couples divorce?
Know what you have and the value
You must remember that the valuable collections you purchased before your marriage are yours. Because they are non-marital property, they are usually untouchable. However, if you have collected certain things during the marriage, they are marital property and usually subject to an even split when dividing assets.
Here are some important tasks for a person considering divorce to do with his or her valuable collections:
- Put together a complete list of all the items: An inventory will let you know what you exactly have. You may have even forgotten that you own certain items. Hire someone to compile lists that may include the bottles of wine in your collection, the rare coins from around the world and the guitar once owned by Hank Williams.
- Get the collections appraised: It turns out, many affluent couples do not know how valuable their collections really are. Work with a person who understands valuations and helps you determine what they may get on the open market. This way, you have a much better idea.
You may have no choice but to sell some of these collections, letting them go. But make sure that you understand exactly what you own and their value.