How do you establish the value of your antiques when you divorce?

When you and your spouse divorce, South Carolina law requires you to divide your marital assets fairly and equitably. This, however, may be easier said than done, especially when it comes to your antiques.

Keep in mind that any antiques that either your spouse or you owned before you married are separate property that belong to each of you respectively and do not need to form part of your marital assets that you must divide. The same applies to any antiques that either of you inherited during your marriage. You need value only the ones the two of you acquired together during your marriage.

Assigning value

The Huffington Post reports that many factors go into assigning a reasonable value to any antique. Some of these factors include the following:

  • The antique’s approximate age
  • Its manufacturer’s signature, mark, label, etc., assuming it has one
  • The amount of wear and tear it has sustained
  • Its rarity today
  • Whether or not collectors are collecting items of this nature today
  • If so, the price range in which items of this nature sell today

Obtaining appraisals

If you have major antiques, such as jewelry, artwork, furniture, etc., that could well be worth significant money, hiring professional appraisers to appraise them likely represents your wisest strategy. Why? Because only a professional appraiser experienced with valuing antiques like yours actually knows what he or she is looking at. In other words, no one knows everything about every kind of antiques. Do not expect a furniture expert to have the expertise necessary to assign a reasonable value to your pieces of old jewelry or vice versa.