Washington, D.C.- With a great deal of property, assets and a large art collection on the line, the divorce of D.C. super-lobbyists Tony and Heather Podesta has taken an acrimonious turn in spite their seemingly cordial split last year.
The wealthy couple are fighting over their sizable contemporary art collection and property they couple own together, including their large home in Kalorama.
In divorce documents filed earlier this week Tony Podesta said his wife convinced him of purchasing a multi-million dollar home for her last spring with the hope they would reconcile. But Heather Podesta began a relationship with another man and Tony Podesta insists he was misled, the Washington Post reported.
As a long-time lobbyist who amassed considerable wealth, Tony Podesta obtained several properties in Washington, Virginia, Italy and Australia prior to his marriage and seeks to retain those properties in the divorce settlement. He would like the court to equally divide the couple’s assets and debts. The couple doesn’t have any children.
Tony Podesta is also asking he be awarded the couple’s large art collection which has become a major point of contention for the couple. The divorce filing accused Heather Podesta of trying to ruin Tony’s reputation in the art world by sending letters to museums and asking them to block her ex from donating works.
“Ms. Podesta has sought to embarrass and harass Mr. Podesta in an effort to gain financial leverage,” the filing states, according to the Washington Post.
Heather Podesta filed a counter-claim asking that the couple’s art collection be divided and be awarded their multi-million dollar Kalorama home. She claims she acquired and supervised renovations for the home which took three years therefore the marital home should be awarded to her. She claims the home is not only a place to lives but serves to promote “their shared interests, both professional and personal.”
In her filing, Heather Podesta claims they couple were more successful together than they were individually.
Heather Podesta asked the court to appoint a trustee who will oversee the distribution of the art, and requested and order that would prohibit any sales or loans of the art.
Because the Podesta’s disagree on how to divide their assets, it would appear as though the couple did not have a prenuptial agreement. When a couple, especially a wealthy one, decides to marry it is always wise to have a divorce attorney draft up a prenuptial agreement.
Prenuptial agreements allow couples to decide how their assets be divided before their relationship falls apart and tensions rise. Who retains what property and assets is much easier to determine when a couple is not bickering. And a prenuptial can prevent a couple from having a court decide on how to divide assets and property.
Once a marriage decays, some couples have hard time leaving their emotions behind and that spills over into the more pragmatic aspects of a divorce. A divorce attorney will temper the emotions and work to protect their client’s interests when a divorce becomes contentious.