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Marital property is often one of the thorniest issues in any Texas divorce, especially when there are millions of dollars at stake. The high-profile divorce of a couple that is well-known in the world of art collecting shows some of the pitfalls that divorcing couples face when there is a large marital estate.

The husband and wife own hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of art and real estate between them. They first filed for divorce in February 2018. The divorce proceedings are currently stalled in the midst of bitter disputes about property division. Now, a judge is trying to help the couple extricate themselves from the situation by urging them to think creatively in terms of asset division. At stake is a large and diverse art collection that includes the largest private stock of Andy Warhol paintings in the world.

The judge has recommended that the couple avoid negotiating about certain specific assets and focus on hammering out a broad global settlement. There are also custody issues at play. The husband is refusing to even address the custody issues until there is a property and monetary settlement in place. There are allegations that the husband has moved assets out of the home including several hundred million dollars’ worth of art.

This is a prime example of what happens when a divorce gets litigious and hostile with large amounts of assets on the line and high tensions. A family law attorney may be able to help avoid a situation such as this by counseling caution or helping to draft a prenuptial agreement to keep couples from a bitter divorce with battles over property. An attorney may assist couples in taking a step back and being reasonable, which can pave the way for a durable co-parenting relationship once the divorce is finished.