Are you a high net worth individual seeking a divorce in Abbotsford, BC? If so, you’ve come to the right place. The family law team at Merchant Law specializes in addressing the unique needs of high net worth divorcees.
We know that you’re facing high stakes in an environment that is likely to be contentious. We know that simplistic solutions can’t meet your needs. That’s why we draw heavily on our backgrounds in business and real estate law to craft the kinds of solutions that help you protect your ability to build and grow your wealth in the future.
We’re both successful negotiators and top-notch litigators, and can help you achieve the high-value settlement you truly deserve.
Protect the Value of Your Most Important Assets
We know how to protect the value of income-bearing or interest-growing assets such as retirement accounts, businesses, and rental properties. When you work with us you won’t have to worry about a sudden decrease in the value of your stock portfolio.
We use any number of tools and legal vehicles to accomplish these ends.
This is a quality that makes many British Columbia farmers turn to us as well, as the homes, inheritances, and businesses of many high net worth BC farmers are all intermingled, and untangling them enough to offer a fair asset division while simultaneously keeping the farm up and running can be a challenge.
We work closely with a professional team to help you get results.
We don’t hesitate to call in the experts. Certified valuation professionals ensure that each asset is valued appropriately. This ensures both that you get your fair share and that you don’t end up giving up more than you have to. We work closely with accountants to make sure that all financial statements are understood and interpreted correctly.
Tax professionals help us outline the tax benefits and drawbacks of every strategy we propose.
As we know that hiding assets is particularly tempting during a high net worth divorce, we also work closely with forensic accountants. We’ll find any assets your spouse might be hiding, and we’ll work hard to make sure they’re held accountable. Judges often issue sanctions against such individuals, thus granting a higher share of the assets to the innocent spouse.
Solutions for International Assets
Many of our clients have assets in the United States, Hong Kong, China, and Europe. We have particular experience helping Chinese divorcees deal with these challenging assets.
International assets can create problems simply because they are within different jurisdictions and bound by different laws. It takes a deft legal touch to ensure that those assets are found and divided appropriately as well.
No matter how complex your international profile is, we can help.
Assessing income isn’t always straightforward for high net worth couples, but it’s vital when it comes to correctly setting spousal support and child support amounts. Those who are controlling shareholders in a corporation, for example, tend to have access to far greater assets than their monthly paychecks might account for, and judges are well aware of this fact.
Determining whether retained corporate earnings or working capital should count as income is something that should happen with expert-guidance on a case-by-case basis. This is especially important for families with children, as the child support guidelines tend to break down for high net worth couples.
If the judge feels that income has been undervalued this might lead to imputing income. This can be dangerous as it means that you may get saddled with the need to pay a monthly maintenance check that far exceeds your resources.
Working closely with our team will help protect you against the possibility of an unfair settlement.
We help you reduce litigation costs.
Most divorces go better when both parties treat the entire affair like a business arrangement and negotiate in good faith. We bring that spirit to the table and come armed with solutions that both parties can live with. This helps you stay out of divorce litigation, which can lead to court orders that don’t necessarily make a great deal of sense for your business.
Nevertheless, we prepare fully for each and every case as if we might have to go to trial. We’re ready to fight for your rights, and to help you make your side of the story clear.
We help you consider the future.
When we work out a divorce settlement we consider your ability to build and grow wealth in the future. We think about how your settlement will impact your estate, your future marriages, your retirement, your business, and more.
We want to make sure that your financial needs are met, whether you are the wealthier spouse or the more economically disadvantaged spouse.
Get Help Today
Founding partner Anthony Merchant is the Associate Editor of the Carswell Reports of Family Law. He’s also been published extensively in the Canadian Family Law Quarterly. He is a member of the Advisory Board for the Canadian Journal of Family Law, as well as of The Family Law Journal.
Many of our member lawyers have also been published in all of these prestigious journals.
Anthony Merchant combines this background with thousands of hours of practical case experience, as do all of our lawyers. In addition, most of our divorce lawyers have also worked in our real estate and business law divisions.
Most of our lawyers have 20 to 30 years of experience. And we work as a team, which means even our youngest family lawyers will have access to a wealth of experience and understanding that you’d be hard pressed to find at any other law firm. That’s why we’re considered some of British Columbia’s most trustworthy lawyers for high net worth divorcees. Sit down with us to discover how we’re different, and what we can do to protect your future.
Call (604) 394-2777 to schedule your case review and to get paired with your own dedicated family law lawyer.