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Fort Myers Florida Family Law Legal Blog

Art collection worth $600 million to be sold as part of divorce

On Behalf of | Sep 30, 2021 | Equitable Distribution |

Florida is a landing spot for many wealthy people because of its agreeable climate and tax-friendliness. With that, there are instances in which people who have been fortunate enough to accrue major wealth will experience marital problems leading to a divorce. One of the most problematic issues during these high-asset divorces is property division. Since these couples might have acquired real estate, have vast assets in savings accounts, maintain stock holdings and jointly own collectibles, sifting through these properties can be complex and lay the foundation for extensive dispute. As these cases move forward, it may be useful to assess similar cases to gauge the terrain.

High-value art collection set to be sold after contentious divorce

An art collection valued at approximately $600 million will be auctioned off as part of the divorce settlement of Harry and Linda Macklowe. Mr. Macklowe is a prominent real estate developer and investor. The value of their entire collection is believed to be worth at least a billion dollars. Sotheby’s will conduct the auction in which works by Andy Warhol, Jeff Coons, Pablo Picasso and others will be available. The couple was married in 1959 and in the subsequent years amassed an enviable fortune – including the art.

In 2018, they were ordered to sell 65 pieces of art and divide the profits. A gap that quickly arose stemmed from the differing appraisals as to the artwork’s value. The disparity from one appraiser to another was exemplified by a sculpture where the estimate differed by $30 million. The works will travel around the world before the sale begin in November. The conclusion of the auction will be next spring. In addition to the artwork, the Macklowes had an apartment worth $72 million, commercial properties and a yacht.

Facing the complexities of a high-asset divorce

As the Macklowes’ case shows, a high-asset divorce with lucrative property division can be difficult. Sometimes, the couple is on relatively good terms and can negotiate an amicable settlement to avoid the time and stress that frequently accompanies a contested divorce. In others, it is not so easy and the case must go to court. With high-stakes financial considerations and disagreements as to valuation, it is imperative to be fully protected. Those who are well-off and heading for a divorce should have guidance with a high-asset divorce, alimony, child support, child custody and property division to try and achieve a fair outcome.