Divorce is complicated, but for those with high value assets, the process can be even more complex. It is crucial that individuals facing a high-net worth divorce consult a qualified attorney. Keep reading to learn more.
What Is a High-Net Worth Divorce?
Every family is unique and so is every divorce, but those with high-value asset divorce face particularly difficult divorce cases. High asset divorce cases are those where one or both spouses have a high-net worth or own high-value assets.
High-value assets may include:
- Real estate
- Fine art
- Stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other investments
- Pensions and foreign funds
In any divorce case, it is crucial that individuals report all assets to the court. Based on these reports, the total net-worth can be calculated.
One of the most important factors in a high-net-worth divorce is documentation. Documentation of all assets is a crucial step for a number of reasons. Most importantly, proving ownership of certain assets helps to determine whether an asset belongs to a business partner, relative, or other party. If assets are not in either spouses’ name, it may not be subject to equitable division.
Documentation not only provides proof of ownership, but it also establishes real value. Some assets appreciate over time while others may be inherited and the current owner might not be aware of the actual value. When property or asset value is established legally, the court can make an informed decision about distributing the property.
Wealthy spouses must be aware of the implications a divorce may have for their taxes. Divorce can alleviate tax stresses but depending on the state of a spouse’s financial affairs, it could worsen and even endanger a spouse’s financial future.
In general, spouses may have options to transfer assets, tax-free, during divorce but not after. However, it’s important to note that spouses shouldn’t attempt to transfer any assets without the help of a qualified attorney or tax expert.
High-asset spouses may face a more complicated child support situation than others. Most cases rely on a calculated presumptive support settlement that usually fits within a more narrow scope considering most people’s earnings. However, with high-asset divorce cases, the potential amount of child support is much higher. Because of this spouses may not be able to anticipate the potential costs as easily and may need to pay other additional fees.
In many cases, high-asset spouses sign a pre-nuptial agreement or prenup prior to the wedding to protect some assets from division in the event one or both spouses decide to terminate the marriage or if a spouse dies. During divorce cases, prenups are often a guideline for the proceedings, but they can also be contested by either party. Some contentious divorce cases involve a battleground over the legitimacy of a prenuptial agreement.
Effective Legal Counsel Backed by Experience
High-asset divorce cases are complicated and require extensive preparation and strategy. While it is possible to file for divorce without an attorney, the best way to ensure the most optimal result is with the help of a qualified legal representative.
Arnel Law Firm has extensive experience handling a variety of complex cases, including high-asset divorce cases. Our firm provides comprehensive legal guidance and support to every client and are dedicated to helping them reach their goals.
Entrust your case to our qualified attorney today. Contact Arnel Law Firm to learn more.