Washington readers who follow celebrity news headlines may be familiar with a divorce situation that has been ongoing for years now. Harry and Linda Macklowe have been unable to achieve an amicable settlement, and the court has stepped in to help the situation along. Harry Macklowe has contended for years that he has no money to speak of that could provide financial support to his former spouse. The judge overseeing the case appears to believe otherwise and has ordered Macklowe to sell his expansive artwork collection to generate funds.

The collection is valued at more than $700 million. It is comprised of 64 pieces, including a famous Andy Warhol painting of Marilyn Monroe. That work is valued at more than $50 million.

The Monroe painting and the rest of the collection is now headed for the auction block. Many artists and collectors say that three life issues often lead to artwork being sold at auction, including death, substantial debt or divorce. The Macklowes were married for nearly six decades, and the art collection they began not long after becoming husband and wife is said to be their highest valued marital asset.

The court has ruled that proceeds generated from the auctioning of the Macklowe artwork collection is to be shared between the former spouses. There has been much speculation regarding Harry Macklowe’s reluctance to pay spousal support, and many say he has been financially supporting a mistress for years, which may have a lot to do with his wanting to hold on to as much money as he can in divorce. The Macklowes are definitely not the first couple to fight over artwork or other property division issues; in fact, there may be Washington spouses currently facing similar problems, in which case, any man or woman in need of legal guidance may consult with an experienced family law attorney before heading to court.