Morris County High Net-Worth Divorce Lawyer
When married couples divorce, the financial issues that must be sorted out may range from simple to complex. Couples who have acquired significant assets during the course of a marriage may find it extremely difficult to detangle their wealth fairly at the end of their marriage. It is common for high net-worth divorces to involve multiple real estate holdings, closely-held businesses, large cash reserves, luxury automobiles, antiques, artwork, jewelry, and other marital assets representing a significant monetary value.
If you are headed for divorce and want to protect your wealth, consider contacting a Morris County high net-worth divorce lawyer to begin exploring your rights and options. High net-worth divorces are almost always complex legal matters requiring the help of a divorce attorney with significant experience. A lawyer who is experienced in the potential pitfalls of high net-worth divorce litigation could help protect your rights and interests at all times during the marriage dissolution process.
How Are High Net-Worth Divorces Different?
Divorce is usually an emotionally challenging and difficult process to have to go through. However, it is generally more complicated for higher net worth individuals with more to gain or lose in divorce proceedings. Although each case is unique, high net-worth divorces often involve disbursing assets and liabilities including:
Real estate that is held by an affluent married couple might include one or multiple vacation homes, investment properties, and primary residences. In the event of a divorce, a Morris County high net-worth divorce lawyer may need to assess the market value of various real estate assets for the purposes of marital net-worth calculations.
Businesses & Professional Practices
In a high net-worth divorce, resolving business ownership issues and determining how to equitably divide a business is often extraordinarily difficult, but with the right high net-worth divorce lawyer, a potentially positive experience. A forensic accountant may consult to properly determine what a business or professional practice is worth. An attorney could then help determine whether a sale, partner buy-out, or other monetary arrangement is the most advantageous course of action.
In New Jersey, retirement accounts like 401(k)s and IRAs that have gained value over the course of a marriage are deemed marital assets subject to division and distribution. Determining how to equitably disburse a retirement account is often a thorny issue as they typically cannot be accessed (without penalty) until the maturity date, potentially decades in the future.
Given how much can be at stake in a high net-worth divorce, it is unfortunately fairly common for one of the spouses to hide assets they otherwise might have to give up. Hiding assets during a divorce is not only unethical, it is illegal. The potential penalty for doing so may be to forfeit all those assets to the other party once the assets are located.
Another issue that a Morris County high net-worth divorce lawyers frequently run into is the existence of a prenuptial agreement between divorcing spouses of extensive financial means. In New Jersey, prenuptial agreements are fully enforceable but must comply with strict statutory requirements.
How Can a Spouse Maintain a Controlling Share of Their Asset?
There are several ways that someone can maintain a controlling share of their high-net worth asset during a divorce. The most important thing for a spouse to do during their marriage is to maintain accurate books and financial records. If the asset is a business, they should not commingle business assets with personal assets to keep the books as clean as possible, so that the business is easier to assess during the valuation process.
If the asset is premarital and therefore separate, it is important for the owner to preserve any financial documents regarding the asset that predate the marriage. They should also ensure that no marital funds are allocated to the asset so that it can be kept completely separate from the other spouse’s finances. Additionally, a prenuptial agreement, if one exists, could be beneficial in this situation to outline the ownership of a separate asset and ensure that the owner maintains the controlling share of this property after the divorce.
Why is the Help of a Skilled Attorney Beneficial in High-Net Worth Cases?
There are many factors involved in high asset cases that are not present in other divorces. It can be difficult to navigate the process of distributing major assets without the advice of an attorney who knows the legal principles behind valuation and property division law and is familiar with the local court system.
There are also significant tax implications in these kinds of cases. It can be crucial to have the assistance of someone who routinely handles these issues and has relationships with professionals who could aid a particular case, such as forensic accountants and appraisers. Help from an experienced Morris County attorney could significantly increase an individual’s chances of obtaining a successful outcome in their case.
Contact a Morris County High Net-Worth Divorce Attorney
A divorce with significant wealth in the balance is something that is likely unwise to go through without the aid of experienced legal counsel. Your best bet to achieve a fair outcome could be letting a Morris County high net-worth divorce lawyer handle it for you. With a successful track record of representing wealthy individuals in dissolution of marriage cases, an attorney could apply their experience to pursue the best result for your case. Contact a lawyer today to begin discussing your legal options and protect your assets.