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High net-worth couples find best ways to divide assets

The end of a marriage often means the beginning of a long process of negotiations. For high net-worth couples in Florida, this may involve finding creative ways to effectively divide martial assets and keep the details of their settlement as private as possible. Those whose wealth includes a level of notoriety may have difficulty maintaining their privacy. However, one celebrity couple has decided to involve the public in their divorce in a practical way.

Actor Russell Crowe and his wife, actress-singer Danielle Spencer, have been separated for five years, and their divorce is scheduled to be finalized around his 54th birthday and what would have been the couple's 15th anniversary. It is on this date in April 2018 that the couple is planning a divorce auction at Sotheby's Australia. Crowe announced that the auction is an example of the cooperation he and his soon-to-be ex expect to continue as they raise their children after the divorce.

Among the three rooms of items up for bids is a $50,000 Vacheron Constantin platinum wristwatch, one of 29 watches in the 227 lots included in the auction. Bidders will see antique vehicles, musical instruments, fine art and furniture. Crowe also is apparently parting with a collection of cricket equipment and numerous lots that hold items from the actor's roles in movies including "American Gangster," "Cinderella Man" and "Gladiator."

Like many high net-worth couples in Florida who are facing divorce, Crowe sees the accumulation of these objects as a burden, and he wants to be freed from the obligation to care for and insure them as he moves into a new life beyond this marriage. While having a Sotheby's auction is one way to handle the division of tangible assets, there may be other alternatives that would be more effective for other couples. The advice of an attorney can help those couples find the methods that would best benefit their situations.

Source: Vanity Fair, "Russell Crowe to Host a Celebratory Divorce Auction", Kenzie Bryant, March 7, 2018

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