A high-asset divorce generally means that the couple seeking a divorce has considerable assets of great value that will need to be equitably distributed. High-asset divorces can be more complex or contentious for several reasons.
More Assets to Value
It is not uncommon for couples in a high-net-worth marriage to own multiple houses or properties, businesses, stocks, stock options, restricted shares or units, deferred compensation, retirement accounts, and/or other significant assets. Identifying and determining the value of these assets can be complicated without legal representation. It may be beneficial to retain an expert in the field who can prepare a written appraisal or testify on your behalf, if necessary.
There are tax implications related to the division and/or sale of real estate, business entities, and retirement accounts. It is important that you are aware of the possible tax consequences if you are going through a high-asset divorce.
Assets may be transferred between you and your spouse pursuant to your marital settlement agreement without certain tax penalties. However, you may end up paying more taxes than necessary if you are not aware of the impact it can have on you individually thereafter. A dedicated lawyer can help ensure that you avoid the financial pitfalls of a high-asset divorce.
Inheritance and Separate Property
Assets that you or your spouse have inherited are generally considered separate property. However, this becomes more complicated if the money from the inheritance has been commingled with marital property. This can happen if you place money from an inheritance in a joint bank account or purchase property in joint names with the money. In the divorce process, that money may then become marital property, subjecting it to be equitably distributed.
Prenuptial agreements are common among wealthy couples. Prenuptial agreements can make the divorce process less complicated and expensive unless one party contests the validity or enforceability of the agreement.
Concerns About Hidden Assets
Some high-net-worth spouses are more likely to try to hide assets during a divorce. However, you and your spouse are legally required to turn over all financial documents during the discovery phase of the litigation. Your lawyer can request specific financial documents from your spouse. If necessary, your lawyer may recommend hiring a forensic accountant who will track down hidden assets and determine your spouse’s financial holdings and whether the hidden assets are deemed separate or marital property. Your lawyer can also issue subpoenas requesting the information and documents directly from the bank or financial institution.
Somerville Divorce Lawyers at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC Help Clients Navigate High-Asset Divorces
The experienced Somerville divorce lawyers at Lepp, Mayrides & Eaton, LLC ensure their clients’ rights are protected, whether settlement is reached, or litigation is necessary. Call us at 908-800-7676 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.
Located in Somerville, New Jersey, our attorneys serve clients throughout Central New Jersey, including those in Somerset County, Hunterdon County, Warren County, Morris County, Mercer County, Monmouth County, Union County, and Middlesex County.