As an artist, perhaps you already know that some of your art may be considered marital property in Massachusetts. This means that it can be split up during a divorce, even if you created it and your spouse had nothing to do with it. The art is looked at as potential earnings since it could be sold for money, so it needs to be divided like the rest of the assets that you have.
So, knowing this, you may be wondering if when you created the art matters. The truth is that it absolutely does.
Generally speaking, the art that you need to split up is that which you made while the two of you were together. This is the same as the way you’d need to split money you earned while you were together. Anything done during the marriage will likely count.
However, if you made the art before you got married, then it might be exempt. Art does not always sell right away. If you sold it during the marriage, the money will be divided, but, if it’s art that you brought to the marriage and never sold, it likely stays with you.
Additionally, if you make more art after that divorce filing is put in, this is typically not going to be divided. The divorce process can take a long time, and you should not be prohibited from working while it plays out.
As you can see, it’s very important to know how this works so that you really keep track of when you made your art, allowing you to keep that which is rightfully yours.
Source: The Huffington Post, “For Artists, Divorce Means Splitting Up the (Art) Assets,” Daniel Grant, accessed April 08, 2016