High Net Worth Divorce
Celebrities are not the only ones who undergo high net worth divorces. There are plenty of other successful people in all types of industries or who have contributed to the success of their spouses by taking care of the household and children or who may have forgone careers for the sake of furthering their spouse’s career. In many of these situations, both partners seek merely to obtain what they feel is reasonable and equitable.
Marriages with considerable assets often generate problems when it comes to a divorce, especially if the marriage was long term and minor children are involved. If the parties are unable to agree on how to divide the assets and how custody and visitation is to be handled, then they face the possibility of protracted litigation and enormous legal fees.
Some of the assets in a high net worth divorce case may include:
- Stocks and bonds
- Second or vacation homes
- Rental properties
- Retirement accounts
- Club Memberships
- International accounts and finances
- Business operations
- Boats, cars and other luxury items
- Collections of art, furniture or other Valuables
- Investment accounts
Any time there is a change in a financial situation, you must be cognizant of the tax implications that could significantly affect you. For example, property transferred from a spouse to another may be taxable. You also need experienced tax advice regarding sale of your principal residence as well as that pertaining to annuities, bonds, and divestment of stocks or retirement accounts. If child support is to be paid, the tax issues involved must also be taken into account as well as that pertaining to possible spousal maintenance and the final distribution of the property and debts.
Other Issues in a High Net Worth Divorce
Besides the tax implications, other issues may be unique to high end divorces. For instance, what is the actual value of the assets and are some assets not being disclosed? It is not unusual for couples living a lavish lifestyle to have a spouse suddenly declare that he or she is not worth what the other believed. It is up to the attorneys to uncover undisclosed assets or to find those that were transferred in anticipation of the divorce.
Another issue is spousal maintenance. In many states, the non-working spouse or the one whose income is far below the other is entitled to maintain the lifestyle to which he or she has become accustomed. Your attorney can advise you on what is reasonable under the factors the court will consider such as the duration of the marriage, the disparity in income, the age and health of the parties, ability to earn income, the standard of living, contribution of the parties to the education and training of the other spouse and other factors.
If a business is involved, your attorney will have to valuate it so that some agreement regarding its continued ownership, operation and division of assets can be achieved. Accountants, appraisers, and other financial experts may be called in to valuate the business as well as other assets such as retirement accounts, annuities, stocks and expensive collections or luxury items.
The division and distribution of your assets may also depend on whether your state is a community property or equitable distribution state. In the latter, marital assets and debts may not be divided on an equal basis and the court will decide what is more equitable, which may mean that a nonworking spouse or one with limited skills or income potential may nonetheless obtain more than 50% of the available assets.
Consult a High End Divorce Attorney
Not every divorce lawyer has the resources, knowledge and trial experience required to give you the advice and representation you will need in a divorce where considerable assets are at stake. Protect your interests by consulting with an attorney from The Law Office of Michael F. Mimno who has successfully handled high net worth divorce matters and the unique issues they often involve.