Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Divorce involving valuable art collection causes New York stir

Divorce can be an ugly business. Anything charged with the emotions of ending a marriage has the potential to do more damage. Even when partners have come to terms with their emotional issues, many of the lingering problems with divorce come with sharing out the assets that were combined in the marriage.

If people do not disagree on what they brought to the marriage, which is often codified in prenuptial agreements, one part of the problem is solved by people simply leaving with what they came with. Most arguments stem from assets that have been gained or increased during the marriage because there are often more disputes about who is entitled to them.

A recent divorce has become a legal battleground after assets in the spouses' combined possession total nearly $1 billion. Two Manhattan apartments, a mansion on Long Island, a yacht, silverware, jewelry and other valuables make up the fortune, which was largely was made in real estate development during nearly 60 years of marriage.

The assets also include a very valuable art collection, which opens questions about what each spouse is entitled to. Personalities in the art world are also invested in the outcome, as the ownership of specific works may affect how and where the works are publicly available.

Legal representation is important when considering a divorce that will break up valuable assets. Early consultation is often more valuable as well. Consider an attorney to help figure out the best way in and out of a divorce. No one should try to work out these tough questions alone.

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