Art Collectors Getting a Divorce

While many Texas divorces are no-fault, even amicable divorces can lead to arguments over the division of property. The reasons for divorce can vary widely, from a couple growing apart to infidelity. Two well-known art collectors in D.C. appeared to be having an amicable divorce until recently.

Last year, the couple reported that they were getting a divorce, but that they were “best friends.” However, the husband filed for divorce on April 3. In the complaint, he alleged that his wife had misled him about the potential for the couple to reconcile when he made a large down payment on a home that she has resided in for the last year. He further alleges that his wife of 11 years was already dating another man. Additionally, he says that she has changed locks on an apartment they own in Italy and asking museums to prevent the man from donating works of art.

The husband has been a prominent Washington lobbyist for many years. The wife established her own lobbyist group in 2009. The husband gives himself credit for teaching the business to his wife and introducing her to key members of the industry. He says that her former salary was $55,000, but because of her husband’s assistance, she now earns millions a year. The husband is asking to keep the property that he owned before the marriage, including properties in Italy, Australia, Virginia, and Washington. He would also like to keep a large art collection he owned before the couple was married.

High net worth individuals who are going through a divorce often seek the counsel of a family law attorney who is experienced with complex assets. With this help, they may be able to protect assets before their division by getting a court order prohibiting certain conduct, such as spending money or changing locks.

Source: The Washington Post, “Tony Podesta divorce filing: wife Heather Podesta tried to ‘embarrass and harass’“, Emily Heil, April 03, 2014

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