Teaneck High Net-Worth Divorce Lawyer
Wealthy couples facing divorce have unique problems. You may have brought substantial assets to the marriage, or perhaps you and your spouse accrued wealth during your marriage. Either way, a Teaneck high net-worth divorce lawyer understands the complexity of divorce when there are significantly greater assets than in an average divorce.
If you are considering separation or divorce, an attorney who handles high net-worth cases could help manage a complicated process and work with you to protect your future.
Equitable Distribution and High New Worth Divorce
In Teaneck, the principle of equitable distribution governs divorce when there is no prenuptial agreement. Equitable distribution means that all assets go into the “marital estate” and equitable distribution to the parties follows. High net worth individuals should consult a Teaneck attorney who has experience handling the complexities of family cases where significant money is at stake.
Prenuptial Agreements and High Net-Worth Divorce
If the couple has a valid prenuptial agreement, instead of the courts determining distribution, the terms of the divorce will generally be handled by the terms of the contract. However, there may be cases where a prenup is invalid, and then any assets not considered “separate property” are part of the marital estate. A skilled lawyer would examine a prenup when advising a client with substantial assets.
Separate Property Versus the Marital Estate
If there is no marital agreement, an attorney who works with wealthy divorce cases could assess the whole marital financial picture and help determine which assets are separate from the marital estate. There are two scenarios to consider in making these determinations.
What Happens When One Individual Brings Wealth to the Marriage?
One party may come to the marriage with substantial assets, particularly in cases of second or third marriages. While a valid prenuptial agreement is the best course in this event, absent that the law generally provides that wealth one brings to the marriage remains “separate property.” However, there are exceptions and subtle distinctions to that rule.
If one partner owns a house and the couple moves into this house as a primary residence, the property might be considered marital property for purposes of equitable distribution. In the case of one high net-worth partner, the issues become more complex and it may be necessary to work with a dedicated Teaneck divorce attorney. When couples build wealth while married, generally, all these assets are considered part of the marital estate but inheritance generally falls outside the marital estate.
The Complexities of High Net-Worth Divorce
Before a final judgment, there must be full disclosure of all assets subject to distribution, and this may require investigation and forensic accounting. These are typical resources a divorce attorney might employ during discovery to ensure complete disclosure.
Full disclosure must include assets such as:
- Passive income-generation sources not related to retirement
- All retirement accounts and holdings
- Business interests
- Foreign holdings
- Personal property such as jewelry, art, boats, and high-value collections
Finally, there are complicated tax implications for post-divorce distributions, and a Teaneck high net-worth lawyer could help explain the potential tax liabilities involved.
How Can Business Holdings Complicate a Divorce?
A couple with business holdings can face a number of complications when going through the divorce process. There are several additional steps that the divorcing spouses would have to take in order to ensure that their entire financial situations are thoroughly examined to fairly distribute their assets.
First of all, the income or the cash flow of the business owner would have to be assessed early on in the process. Typically, a forensic accountant would need to be hired to conduct the assessment. An attorney would have to complete an extensive amount of discovery by exchanging documentation, including QuickBooks, business ledgers, credit card statements, bank statements, investment statements, compensation packages, and business expenses. It is important for a spouse to gather all of this information when deciding to file for divorce so that an attorney can have a full picture of the situation.
If the business holding is considered a shared asset that was acquired or expanded during the marriage, the process to divide it can be especially extensive. Professional help will likely be required to assign a value to the business and decide how to distribute that value between the spouses. Fortunately, a New Jersey attorney could prepare you to begin this complex process.
A Teaneck High Net-Worth Divorce Attorney Could Help
A divorce involving wealth and varied assets could be high in complexity and conflict. With such high risk, you may consider a consultation with one of our attorneys familiar with high net-worth divorces. Such unique circumstances require a commitment to focused advocacy. A Teaneck high net worth divorce lawyer with an understanding of how wealth and finances affect divorce could advocate for you as you negotiate the difficult process of separation and final divorce. Call today to learn more.