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What happens when billionaire New York art collectors divorce?

Divorces among the wealthiest people in New York City can leave couples fighting over a multitude of assets besides considerable amounts of money -- homes, airplanes, cars, boats and in some cases, valuable art. The last of these is expected to take center stage in the split of real estate developer Henry Macklowe and his wife Linda.

The couple has been married for 57 years. Both have been active in the art world. They have amassed a collection that's reportedly worth somewhere in the neighborhood of $1 billion.

Neither Macklowe has publicly confirmed that they are divorcing. However, Henry Macklowe is reportedly involved with another patron of the arts -- the head of the French Friends of the Israel Museum.

Henry Macklowe, who owns the General Motors Building in Midtown Manhattan, is currently building a residential apartment building on Park Avenue that is slated to be the tallest structure of its kind in the world. Apartments there are already on the market for well into eight figures.

How the couple's art collection is split could depend on how much of a part Mrs. Macklowe played in the couple's acquisitions. She used to be a curator at the Guggenheim Museum and is still on its board of trustees. She been called "the brains behind one of the most valuable private art collections in the industry." The Macklowes' collection includes works by Gerhard Richter and Franz Kline.

Not all couples battle over the art collection. In the divorce of billionaire casino mogul Steve Wynn and his wife Elaine last year, she says that it was easy for the two to divide up their act collection because their tastes were vastly different.

Of course, sometimes spouses will seek to keep assets in a divorce not because they necessarily suit their tastes, but because they are valuable. In divorces where considerable assets are involved, it's essential to have a full and accurate accounting of all of them and their value to help ensure that you receive a fair settlement. Your New York family law attorney can help connect you with the resources you need to get this done.

Source: Artnet News, "Huge Art Collection at Stake as Harry Macklowe Leaves Longtime Wife, Linda," Brian Boucher, June 01, 2016

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