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Real estate and other assets, complicated without a prenup

New Jersey spouses in high-asset situations may want to follow a case that is currently unfolding in another state if they plan to file paperwork to end their marriages in court. The situation is an example of how messy a divorce can get regarding real estate and other assets if a high-net worth couple failed to sign a prenuptial agreement before they wed. David Mugrabi, a member of a family who is known for its ownership of the world's largest private collection of Andy Warhol paintings, has become entangled in a nasty divorce situation that began when his wife allegedly found him lying naked alongside a house guest.

The Mugrabis had been entertaining friends at their lavish, nine-bedroom estate. The next morning, Libbie Mugrabi, age 37 and mother of two, apparently came upon a scene in her family room that suggested her spouse had been engaged in inappropriate intimate behavior with another woman. She has since filed for divorce, which has prompted an acrimonious battle over the Mugrabi art collection and the luxury townhouse.

People who wish to retain separate ownership of certain assets during marriage can easily secure their wealth by signing prenuptial agreements before the wedding day. Those who fail to do so may want to consider signing a post nuptial contract instead. While some people hesitate to discuss such matters for fear of being unromantic, the Mugrabi situation is a definite example of how lack of such documents can prompt contentious litigation issues in divorce.

Artwork, jewels, real estate and other assets are often central components of a high-net worth divorce. A New Jersey spouse who wishes to protect his or her interests would do well to discuss such matters with an experienced family law attorney, preferably before getting married but especially before heading to court if a marital break-up occurs. As for the Mugrabis, the judge overseeing their case will have the final say over the townhouse, art collection and other high-stakes assets in question. 

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