When you divorce, Texas law requires you and your spouse to divide your marital property 50/50 between you. If the two of you have acquired a number of antiques during your marriage, however, valuing them for purposes of divorce can become complicated.

For one thing, just because something is old does not make it a true antique. In the world of collecting, several categories apply, including the following:

         Antique: anything 100 years old or older

         Vintage: anything 75-100 years old

         Retro: anything manufactured in the 1950s or 1960s

Determining value

While true antiques generally are more valuable than vintage or retro items, such is not always the case. As the Huffington Post reports, the value of each of your old items depends on several factors, such as the following:

         Can you identify your item’s creator or manufacturer by means of a signature, mark, logo, label, etc.?

         Can you identify its age?

         How much damage or wear and tear does it show?

         How rare is it in today’s market?

         Do collectors buy like or similar items today?

         If so, what is the price range for such like or similar items?

Obtaining appraisals

Your best option for determining the value of your antiques, vintage and retro items consist of hiring professional appraisers to appraise them. Seek those certified by one of the following appraisal associations:

         Appraisers Association of America

         American Society of Appraisers

         International Society of Appraisers

Unfortunately, you likely will need more than one appraiser. Why? Because no one person has the knowledge and experience to appraise all kinds of antiques. For instance, do not expect a jewelry expert to realistically appraise your Queen Anne chairs or your Civil War memorabilia.