“Who gets what?” is one of the most important questions that has to be resolved in a divorce. This question becomes even more paramount in a divorce where the net worth of the couple is high.
An experienced attorney makes a world of difference in a high asset case. The impetus is to try and negotiate a settlement before this gets to court. Court cases can go on for months or even years depending on the complexity of the asset evaluation and any temporary orders, such as spousal or child support.
Here are just a few of the significant items to consider when dealing with a high asset divorce.
When dealing with assets, the court considers assets that were owned before marriage to be non-marital property. Significant appreciation of the asset may have taken place during the marriage. A
Asset determination can also be tricky. Perhaps a couple owns several businesses, each with different amounts of controlling interests or ownership shares. Perhaps the couple owns several pieces of real estate, each with a differing valuation.
In a high asset divorce case a special evaluator may be called in. They can assist in establishing the true nature of the assets. A forensic accountant can also be a godsend. They are especially helpful in uncovering the true value of an asset, such as a business where the true value is hidden behind annual statements, balance sheets,
There can also be a mountain of other assets to consider, such as investments, retirement plans, stocks, intellectual property rights, and valued collections. Given the complexity of the assets and the need for an accurate determination of value, it becomes essential to have a team working on this (an attorney plus any experts they deem necessary).
When a couple has high net worth, there is a good possibility that spousal support will be a factor in the divorce. Many times, there is a gap between the income of each spouse.
It is not uncommon for one spouse to have left the workforce. This may be to care for children full time or to help with the other spouse’s business. In this case, there will be an income gap between the two. A request for significant spousal support will probably be honored by the court.
With high assets comes a higher profile in the community, which means a divorce could be a highly publicized event. An attorney may need to implement procedures designed to increase the privacy of the couple, such as sealing court orders or requesting a gag order from the court.
With the need for a complex asset identification, as well as the need to control the public message, a high asset divorce requires an attorney who can multitask and commit to a large task over a lengthy period of time. This is the time to trust an experienced attorney with a proven track record of success in court.
Family Matters Law Group has been helping clients throughout Henry, Clayton, and Fayette Counties, as well as the greater Atlanta metro area, with asset identification and effective divorce representation for many years. If you are about to begin a high asset divorce case, contact us today and come in for a consultation.
We specialize in asset identification, hidden asset recovery, and litigation over mediation. Family Matters Law Group can help you survive a high asset divorce.