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Man sells expensive artwork in midst of high asset divorce


Some New York divorces go beyond the couple simply trying to part ways and move on with their lives. There are certain circumstances that are complicated by significant assets that are in dispute. People with substantial amounts in their portfolios who choose to split with a spouse will often be concerned about how their valuable properties will be distributed. Having legal assistance with this complex situation is vital to a successful outcome from the perspective of the spouse who accrued the assets, the spouse who did not and anywhere in between.

The real estate developer Harry Macklowe is divorcing his wife of 58 years. Mr. Macklowe offered her $1 billion to part ways amicably, but she chose to file for divorce. Mr. Macklowe stated his intention to remarry another woman as soon as the divorce is completed. The couple did not have a prenuptial agreement. This has put their art collection - worth approximately $1 billion - in the crosshairs of the case. His wife controls much of the art. As the case is moving forward, Mr. Macklowe is allegedly selling millions worth in art including one painting that, by itself, is worth $35 million.

Property division is one of the most contentious aspects of a divorce. Whether it is a high asset divorce or one of more modest means, this must be considered along with the usual divorce legal issues involving children and other matters that generally come to the forefront. For example, if there is a retirement account, it can be confusing as to who has the rights to it. A marital home, automobiles, investments, businesses - all are part of property division in any divorce, not just one with a vast portfolio. Both parties must make certain to protect themselves with an attorney.

In this case, the process is being played out not just in the courts, but in the media as well. Since it is a prominent couple with billions in assets, the case is likely to continue until a negotiation and agreeable resolution is completed or the courts come to a decision. Anyone who is divorcing regardless of the assets should have legal advice to protect themselves and their future.

Source: The Real Deal, "Harry Macklowe selling off millions of dollars worth of artwork amid divorce," May 9, 2017

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