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Wealthy couple fight over artwork in divorce

On Behalf of | Feb 25, 2020 | Firm News |

When a couple gets a divorce in Illinois, all marital property gets divided equitably, or fairly. If the couple cannot agree on how to split their assets, a judge will make that decision for them. In New York, which is another equitable distribution state, one wealthy couple has been fighting over their assets since they split in 2018. The judge has encouraged the two to try agreeing to a dollar amount rather than focusing on which assets they want. The husband has refused to discuss child custody until after he and his estranged wife are able to agree on a settlement amount.

The former partners, who are well-known private art collectors, are battling over millions of dollars’ worth of artwork as well as expensive real estate in the Hamptons and Manhattan. The husband’s family has been active at private art auctions for over two decades, and they have more Andy Warhol paintings than any other private collector. However, according to sources, the wife helped sell artwork that was displayed in their home, which means she might be entitled to a portion of artwork considered to be part of her husband’s “business.”

The wife alleges that that her husband took actions to hide their marital assets, including taking $200 million of art from their home. Anything that the couple acquired for personal use since they were married in 2005 would be considered marital property. To help determine the value of the couple’s artwork that is subject to division, the court may need to order an appraisal.

Individuals filing for divorce in Illinois may feel that they need assistance identifying and valuating their marital assets. A family law attorney may be useful in identifying assets and negotiating the division of property.