Woman accuses estranged husband of hiding art from her

Posted by Lauren S. CohenNov 11, 20150 Comments

One type of asset that divorce-related disputes sometimes come up in relation to is art. Art is currently at the center of a divorce-related dispute involving a Manhattan woman and a Swiss businessman. 

The two have been married since 2008. The businessman recently filed for a divorce in the country of Monaco, where he claims residency. The woman alleges that, prior to the divorce filing, the man engaged in misconduct regarding pieces of artwork that were present in the couple's apartment.

Specifically, she claims that he took the artwork from the apartment while she was away and has hid it away from her so she can't access it. She claims that his actions are keeping her from her rightful share of property in the divorce, as she argues that the artwork is marital property and that she should receive at least a 50/50 split of it. Reportedly, the art pieces are worth at least $25 million.

She has brought a lawsuit in New York over these art-related allegations. In the lawsuit, she is asking that the man be prohibited from selling the art. 

The man is arguing that he did nothing wrong when it comes to the art and that the art is not marital property. 

This case illustrates a couple things. One is that one of the things that can end up being a significant battleground in a divorce is whether a given piece of property is marital property or separate property. Property classification issues can end up having big impacts on how property ends up being split in a divorce, and thus a lot can be at stake in disputes over property classification. 

Another thing the case shows is that, sometimes, in relation to a divorce, allegations of asset hiding arise. Issues involving alleged asset hiding can be very complex and can have significant impacts in divorce cases. Thus, whether a divorcing person is facing allegations of hiding assets or suspects their spouse is hiding assets from them, they should consider turning to an experienced attorney for guidance.

Source: New York Daily News, “Woman claims husband took $25M worth of art before filing for divorce: lawsuit,” Ginger Adams Otis, Nov. 10, 2015