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New York billionaire and real estate developer files for divorce

Known for his success in New York real estate, Harry Macklowe recently made headlines again, but for a very different reason. The billionaire filed for what most believe to be a billion-dollar divorce from Linda Macklowe, his wife. The couple never signed a prenuptial agreement, and some fairly significant assets will soon have to be dealt with during property division.

The Macklowe's marriage lasted 57 years, and it is apparently ending in order for Mr. Macklowe to pursue a relationship with a woman with whom he was having an affair. During their marriage, Mr. Macklowe developed the notable Apple store glass box, temporarily owned the General Motors building and began work on yet another high-profile project. Meanwhile, Mrs. Macklowe built a $1 billion art collection with two other people. These assets alone could potentially set the stage for a complicated divorce.

This divorce follows that of the Macklowe's daughter, who ended her marriage in a divorce that lasted about five years. Although there are certainly exceptions, high-asset divorces are typically time-consuming processes, making the length of her divorce not exactly unusual. Their daughter ended up with two properties from her marriage, one of which is worth $22.5 million alone.

Despite what many people in New York believe, infidelity does not typically have any type of impact on how assets are divvied up in a divorce. Rather than focusing on the emotional aspect of ending a marriage, it is often far more productive for both parties to carefully consider both their current and future needs when attempting to divide marital property. While this process is usually much easier with the careful guidance of a prenuptial agreement, most couples can still eventually reach a solution through either mutual negotiations or by going before a family law judge.

Source: Vanity Fair, "Billion-Dollar Divorce Scandal Hits the Upper East Side", Emily Jane Fox, June 16, 2016

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