It doesn’t take much for a high-net worth divorce to become contentious. The stakes are high, and both parties tend to have enough money to push the issues. In addition, there is often a grave need for one of the spouses to receive spousal support.
When you’re pursuing one of these divorces you need successful lawyers: individuals who are incentivized to keep your best interests at heart. You don’t need a hungry young divorce lawyer who might be tempted to draw the process out longer than is strictly necessary.
You need tough, hard-nosed negotiators who know what you should be ready to move on and what you shouldn’t. The most successful high net worth divorces are the ones that stay out of court.
Valuation of Assets
The fair valuation of assets will be the first step in any high net worth divorce. This will mean turning to assessors, valuators, and forensic accountants to make sure both sides have a clear and accurate picture of the assets to be divided.
For the most part Manitoba courts look for an equitable distribution of assets, but this can be complex when assets include multiple businesses, stocks, bonds, insurance policies, real property, and retirement accounts. The Family Property Act says both spouses have equal rights to any marital property, but “equitable” distribution and “equal” distribution are not the same thing.
You may need creative legal solutions to make sure that your best interests are protected.
Determining each spouse’s net worth and income can be a complex process in a high net worth divorce. These numbers matter as they will determine spousal support payments which will be an issue in a marriage of any substance. How income is determined can make a big difference when some spouses can tuck earnings into their businesses.
An lawyer shouldn’t be the only member of your divorce team. An accountant or financial advisor should be present to advise you on the tax liabilities created by any given settlement.
Otherwise, you might take a settlement that looks good but which saddles you with the bulk of the tax burden. This can have a huge impact on your financial future. Your lawyer has to know how to work closely with these professionals to get you your best outcome.
Care of Children
High net worth divorces have the same issues as other divorces vis a vis child care, custody, and access. Often, the spouse who earns less will be fearful that the higher earning spouse will have a significant advantage in the divorce process.
We will help you negotiate an agreement that is in the best interests of your children regardless of who the higher-earning party is in the arrangement.
Why choose Merchant Law for your high net worth divorce?
You’ll be working with a team of detail-oriented lawyers with decades of experience handling divorce cases just like yours. We thoughtfully evaluate each of the options and present them to you with a rundown of the causes and effects they’re likely to have.
We keep your needs front-and-center and keep your best interests at heart. We’re also highly responsive…you will always know what is happening during the course of your divorce.
Want to have a meeting to determine if our lawyers are the right lawyers for you? Contact Merchant Law to set up an appointment today.