A wealthy couple who married without a prenuptial agreement are preparing to go to battle over the division of their significant marital assets. The couple, an international businessman and his socialite wife, have already begun legal sparring over the husband’s decision to remove valuable artwork from the couple’s home in another state in preparation for sale. As this divorce moves forward, readers in Pennsylvania and elsewhere will likely learn a great deal about the jet-setting couple and their lavish lifestyle.
The first round of legal volleys centers on the priceless art collection that the spouses amassed over the years. The paintings are by artists that range from Andy Warhol to Jean-Michel Basquiat. In total, the 20 paintings in question are worth an estimated $25 million. The husband removed the collection from the couple’s Manhattan property, and has already listed one of the painting for auction.
In response, the wife has filed a lawsuit in New York, asking the court to block the sale of any of the artwork while the divorce is pending. She claims that she was unaware that the marriage was heading for divorce, and that her husband waited until she was out of the country before moving the artwork and filing for divorce. Her husband claims that his wife was well aware of his plans to sell the collection and that the artwork is his personal property, as opposed to marital assets.
The divorce is likely to become more contentious. This prediction is partly due to the fact that the husband engaged in a lengthy legal battle with a previous wife when that marriage also ended in divorce. For many in Pennsylvania, the story serves as a cautionary tale of the risk of entering into a high asset marriage without a prenuptial agreement in place.
Source: nydailynews.com, “Woman claims husband took $25M worth of art before filing for divorce: lawsuit“, Ginger Adams Otis, Nov. 10, 2015
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