Individuals with a high net worth own many complex assets like businesses, stocks, bonds, retirement accounts, and more. Dividing these assets requires a complex process. In addition, there is almost always a large income disparity between partners, which means spousal support is sure to become an issue.
You need lawyers who know how to work with an entire team of valuation professionals, financial advisors, tax professionals and more to ensure that you get the best deal from your divorce.
The Valuation Process
It is imperative to make use of skilled valuation professionals when processing a high net worth divorce. These individuals can come up with the true value of your complex assets.
Meanwhile your lawyer can help identify what is and is not marital property. Marital property is the only property that gets distributed during the divorce. Keep in mind there can be disputes over what is and isn’t marital property, just as there can be disputes over who gets what.
During this process it’s important to be vigilant and on the lookout for hidden assets. Hiding assets nearly always backfires, but that doesn’t stop some people from trying it.
The Negotiation Process
There is a great deal of room for negotiation in a high net worth divorce. For example, for spousal support payors it might be advantageous to pay off the support as a single lump sum. Payees may agree, but only if the sum is larger than the one proposed.
One spouse may be deeply invested in running and maintaining a business and may need to buy out a spouse who has a significant number of shares.
Retirement accounts can lose a great deal of value if there is an early distribution. A settlement has to take this into account as well.
These are just examples of the many points in the process where there may need to be a great deal of discussion, give, and take. In addition it’s vital to make sure one spouse isn’t more tax-disadvantaged than the other. Thus it’s important to have tax professionals on your divorce team.
The Litigation Process
Litigation is almost never ideal. You’ll usually get your best division of assets by settling the matter out of court.
Yet you may be faced with an unreasonable or intractable spouse who simply doesn’t want to come to the table or offer you a settlement you can live with. When that happens the matter must go before a judge. You’ll lose a lot of control over the process, but it may be the only way.
When your case must go to court you want tough, experienced litigators on your side who will help you protect your interests.
Why Merchant Law?
Our experienced divorce lawyers have handled many high net worth divorces like yours, and know the law inside and out. We respect your accomplishments and what you’ve done to build the life that you’ve had.
We have a long track record of success and are known for being tough. We won’t let you get taken advantage of.