Protecting What Matters Most

New York high asset divorce drags on

New York has no shortage of millionaires, but one couple, in particular, has made headlines as they continue to battle over assets in their contentious divorce. The duo, who were married in 2005, are well-known in the art community, and they are each vying for expensive artwork, as well as pricey real estate in Manhattan and the Hamptons.

David and Libbie Mugrabi filed for divorce in 2018, but they are still “so far apart” on how to divide their property that the judge presiding over their case cut their February 13 hearing short and reset it for April 2, encouraging the couple to see if they could, at minimum, agree on a settlement amount. Mr. Mugrabi has refused to discuss child custody until the couple are able to reach a financial settlement.

To make matters more complicated, Mr. Mulgrabi has been accused of taking $200 million worth of artwork from the couple’s home in order to avoid having to split it with his estranged wife. Ms. Mulgrabi also suspects that Mr. Mulgrabi hid marital assets in an offshore trust, which means the trust may need to be accessed by the court.

The court will need to determine what Ms. Mulgrabi’s level of contribution was to Mr. Mulgrabi’s art business, as that would impact the amount to which she would be entitled. Most likely, an appraiser will be brought in to value the couple’s artwork.

In a high asset divorce, it can be difficult to identify all property that was acquired during marriage. In New York, which is an equitable distribution state, assets are not necessarily split 50-50; they just need to be divided fairly. A family law attorney can help individuals assess the value of their marital property and try to reach a resolution on its division without the need for a court order.