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Nassau County Family Law Blog

Saturday, August 20, 2016

Divorcing Harry and Linda Macklowe Battle Over $1 Billion in Art

How is property divided during a divorce in New York?

New York real estate developer Harry Macklowe is divorcing his wife of 57 years, Linda Macklowe.  The couple did not sign a prenuptial agreement prior to marriage.  Now, the divorcing spouses are dueling it out to determine who will receive what out of the billions of dollars in marital property at stake. 

Among the couple’s assets is one of the most valuable private art collections in the industry.  Linda and Harry Macklowe own a massive postwar and contemporary art collection with an estimated value of over $1 billion.  Along with this impressive art collection, significant holdings in prime New York real estate will also be divided among the parties. Harry Macklowe is presently building a residential tower on Park Avenue, with apartments and penthouses for sale between $17.5 million and $95 million. 

The Division of Marital Property in New York

In the state of New York, marital property will be divided equitably when a couple divorces.  An equitable property division is one that is considered fair.  It may involve equal distribution but does not always.  A divorce judge will consider the following factors, among others, in dividing marital property:

  • Each spouse’s income and property when they married and at the time of the divorce;
  • The duration of the marriage;
  • Each spouse’s health and age;
  • Whether the court has awarded alimony;
  • The need for the parent with custody to remain in the family home;
  • The equitable claim to the marital property of each spouse, which can include the spouses’ contribution of labor, money, or efforts;
  • Whether a spouse willfully dissipated assets during the marriage;
  • Tax consequences to each spouse; and
  • The liquid or non-liquid character of the marital property.
It is important to note that only marital property will be divided by the court.  Each spouse has the right to keep his or her separate property.  Marital property includes any property acquired by either or both parties during the marriage, with certain exceptions.  Separate property includes property acquired before marriage, property recognized as separate in a valid prenuptial agreement, or property received individually as a gift or inheritance.  For assistance with your divorce matter, contact the New York divorce attorneys at Howard B. Leff, P.C. at (516) 739-7500 to schedule your free initial evaluation. 

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