This recent article in the Telegraph highlights the dangers and consequences of a divorcing couple failing to reach agreement upon financial matters. In this case, the Judge adopted the "Judgment of Solomon". Neither party could agree on who was to have the items in the art collection, and thus a sale of the entire collection was ordered by the US court.
In any divorce in England and Wales, the distribution of the assets within the marriage of a divorcing couple, are in the absence of agreement between the parties, at the discretion of the trial Judge. If the valuation of any assets within the marriage cannot be agreed, the court will appoint a relevant expert, jointly instructed and funded by the parties, but reporting to the court. If the parties cannot then agree who is to have the particular asset/s, one of the Court's available options is that the asset will be sold and the net proceeds will be divided (as determined by the court).
Therefore, it is important during any separation or divorce for the couple to strive to reach an agreement, as in the absence of agreement, an order will be imposed by the court - which may be unpalatable for both parties.
The most expensive art collection ever sold at auction has gone under the hammer - all because two New York divorcees couldn’t agree on how much it was worth. The sale of masterpieces of pop, expressionism, and minimalism from Mark Rothko to Andy Warhol came after a long, bitter and costly $2billion divorce between the real estate developer Harry Macklowe and his ex-wife Linda (nee Burg), a former art critic and museum trustee.