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Can assets be sold during a high asset divorce?

When a wealthy couple decides to end their marriage, a great deal of focus goes into determining how to divide their accumulated assets. This is often a complicated matter, especially when a couple has many different sources of wealth. During a high asset divorce in Maryland, it is not uncommon for one or both spouses to wish to sell certain assets. Doing so, however, can complicate matters and should only be done under careful legal guidance.

An example is found in the ongoing divorce between billionaire Harry Macklowe and his wife, Linda. The couple have been married for 58 years, but Harry has told reporters that he is eager to remarry as soon as his divorce is made final. The object of his affection is a woman with whom he has been having a long-time affair.

The Macklowes have amassed an art collection that is valued at nearly $1 billion. It is rumored that Harry Macklowe is attempting to quietly auction off one of those pieces for an estimated $35 million. The piece of art in question is a painting by Roy Lichtenstein, which Macklowe is believed to have purchased from the husband of his lover.

It is unclear whether the sale of the painting will become an issue in the high asset divorce between Harry and Linda Macklowe. However, selling or otherwise disposing of any items of significant value is often ill-advised while a divorce is underway. Doing so can lead to a claim that one party is attempting to dissipate marital wealth, which is a serious matter. Before making any financial decisions, spouses in Maryland and elsewhere should seek the advice of their divorce attorney.

Source:, "Harry Macklowe may be secretly selling artwork amid $2B divorce", Ian Mohr, May 8, 2017

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