Protecting collectibles in a divorce

On Behalf of | Jun 1, 2023 | Divorce |

New Hampshire is an equitable division state, which means that your spouse may receive more than half of assets held in the marital estate. This may mean that you will be forced to cede a portion of an art, car or other type of collection that were amassed during the marriage.

Protect yourself with a prenup

It may be possible to exclude collectible goods from state property division laws using a prenuptial agreement. Alternatively, you can exempt them by coming to terms on a postnuptial agreement, which is the same as a prenuptial agreement but executed after the wedding occurs. This type of agreement is generally valid as long as both parties enter it on their own free will.

Put assets into a trust

You may also be able to protect prized assets by placing them into a trust. By doing so, you effectively place them outside of the marital estate, which means that they won’t be subject to state property division laws. Ideally, you’ll create the trust long before divorce proceedings begin to minimize the risk that the trust is invalidated by a judge.

Separate property is exempt

Any items that were acquired before the marriage began are typically considered to be your sole property. The same may be true of assets acquired during a marriage that were acquired with your own funds. For instance, if you bought multiple pieces of art with money inherited from your parents, those pieces would likely remain in your possession.

Even if an asset is considered part of the marital estate, it doesn’t mean that you’ll lose it. You may be able to retain control of a collection in exchange for waiving your right to the family home or other items your spouse may want. You may also increase your odds of obtaining a favorable divorce settlement by producing documents proving that an item is your sole property or is otherwise exempt from a divorce settlement.