Does your ex have a right to art that you created?

On Behalf of | Jan 20, 2022 | Property And Asset Division

If you’re an artist, there’s no doubt that you think of your art as your own. Perhaps you’re a painter, and you put paintings in galleries all over the state. Every time you start working on another one, you think of that painting as something that belongs exclusively to you.

However, if you and your spouse end up getting a divorce, your spouse may try to claim that they have a right to some of your unfinished art. They may also claim they have a right to some of your unsold art, even if it’s finished. This can come as quite a shock when you’ve never looked at it this way. Do they have a point?

Your artwork may, in fact, be a marital asset

The truth is that your spouse may have a point, and the courts have looked at art as marital assets in the past.

After all, this art isn’t just something that you created for yourself. It’s your business. It’s your career. And all of those paintings have value, which could be quite substantial. You made them while you and your spouse were together so, just as a business owner would have to divide the money that they earned while they were married, you may have to divide the value of that art.

There are a lot of different ways to do this, such as selling the art and then dividing the money or allowing your ex to take other assets that have a similar value so that you can keep the artwork, but something must be done to include these in the total asset picture from your marriage. Make sure you are well aware of the steps you’ll need to take and exactly what legal options you have as you go through this complex property division process.