Is Russell Crowe’s divorce auction’ a good idea?

The news that actor Russell Crowe and his soon-to-be ex-wife Danielle Spencer are holding a ‘divorce auction’ to sell off hundreds of possessions valued at some $1 million may have filled quite a few column-inches in the celebrity media, but is such an auction an idea that could be taken up by others going through a divorce?

Of course, most divorcing couples do not have a million dollars-worth of unwanted possessions, but it is often the case that cash needs to be raised to meet the cost of each party having to find and set up a new home and life after divorce. It is also often the case that there will be some possessions that are no longer needed or wanted, perhaps because they now hold painful memories.

So, selling off items that are not wanted or are no longer essential can be a very good idea when a couple divorce.

There are, however, a couple of legal points that must be borne in mind.

Firstly, the sale must be either with the agreement of both parties, or pursuant to an order of the court. The court will take a very dim view of any party selling items without the other’s consent.

Secondly, the proceeds of the sale should not be distributed between the parties without their agreement, or a court order. In particular, the parties should be aware that any financial/property settlement on divorce is only final if it is set out in a court order, and the divorce itself has been finalised by the decree absolute. It may well therefore be best to wait until then before distributing the sale proceeds.

If you would like any further advice about these matters, Family Law Café can help. To contact us click the Contact link above and fill in the form, or call us on 020 3904 0506.

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Image of Danielle Spencer and Russell Crowe by Paul Cush [CC BY-SA 3.0], via Wikimedia Commons.