Wife granted artwork in property division replaced it with fake

There are few times in life that can be more acrimonious than a bitter divorce. When it comes to the property division settlement, the two sides often fail to come to an agreeable solution on their own. Florida residents who are struggling to resolve these disputes may seek the input of a neutral professional.

A recent divorce between Wall Street investor, Bill Gross, and his former wife took an unusual turn. According to the woman’s account, she was granted permission to remove any of the artwork or furnishings from their home that she desired. For reasons that are unclear, the wife chose to take a Picasso painting that they had jointly owned since 2006 without telling him of her decision to do so. The painting had been appraised for approximately $35 million.

Several months later, the couple decided to settle ownership of the painting by way of a coin toss. Though the wife won, she still did not inform him that she had already taken possession of it. Instead, she had replaced it with a replica that she had created herself.

As the husband was preparing to have the painting transferred to her residence, she told him that the one in his home was a forgery. During the divorce trial, she was questioned about her actions, though she did not explain why she hung the forgery. She further admitted that she also had possession of a statue that her husband was not aware she had taken.

This case may seem unusual in that the former couple had come to an agreement in how to decide ownership of some of their marital possessions. The husband had purportedly praised his wife’s artistic abilities in the past, including her ability to replicate famous works of art. Florida residents who are unable to arrive at a mutually satisfactory agreement when it comes to their property division may be best served by consulting an experienced attorney who can provide knowledgeable assistance.

Source: nypost.com, “Wife got prized Picasso painting in divorce, hangs fake version anyway“, Carleton English, May 11, 2018

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