Splitting Assets Fairly: Who Gets the Wine Collection in a Divorce?

You were a little surprised when your husband suggested a mediated divorce. While you knew the two of your were going to split up, you thought he was going to attempt to take as much as he could—and now that you’ve been given an estimate on the value of your assets, you suspect you were right all along. You know that your shared wine collection is worth much more than he has listed, but you can’t prove it, and you do not have an attorney. How can you be sure that he is splitting the wine collection—and everything else—fairly?

How Can I Find Out What Our Wine Collection Is Worth?

In most marriages, one person knows more about the family finances than the other. While this might place the latter spouse at a disadvantage in the beginning, he or she can get fair treatment in a divorce with a little preparation. Consider these methods of getting access to the true value of your wine collection:

  • Request financial records. Washington is a community property state, meaning that all of the property you and your spouse acquired throughout the marriage is shared property. In most cases, spouses can get access to financial records simply by requesting them from the insurance agents, bank, broker, or mortgage company. However, if property is in your spouse’s name only, or your spouse refuses to provide you with copies, you may need an attorney to intervene on your behalf.
  • Get an appraisal. If the wine is in your shared home, you can ask an appraiser to come to your house and give you an estimated value of the collection for a fee. Attorneys who regularly deal with divorces with large estates can often suggest trustworthy appraisers, and insurance providers who insure art and jewelry may also be able to point you in the right direction.
  • Ask an attorney. An attorney acting on your behalf is more likely to help you receive a fair resolution to your divorce. Your representative may also be able to compel your spouse to produce tax returns and account records, as well ask legally binding questions about values and assets. The can also make a demand to inspect all shared property, giving an impartial third-party estimate of your assets’ value.

Want to make sure you get a fair division of property? Click the related links on this page or contact us to set up a private consultation.

Molly B. Kenny
Founder and Principal Divorce Attorney
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Molly B. Kenny's Bellevue family law office is conveniently located on Lake Bellevue Drive, making it easily accessible to those in the greater Seattle area. Our divorce and child custody lawyers help men and women get the information, guidance, and compassionate representation they need.
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