Choose an Attorney Experienced with High Asset Divorces
From a legal standpoint, there is nothing fundamentally different about a high net worth divorce. If you and your spouse share considerable assets, however, you may find that your divorce will be far more complex than it might otherwise be.
High and ultra-high net worth divorce cases often take far longer to complete and they also carry the potential for hotly contested litigation between spouses who are anxious to defend their stake in the marital estate.
You have every right to want to safeguard your personal wealth during the process of your divorce. Whether you have worked hard to build up a business or a professional career, or if your wealth consists of family inheritances, you should be able to walk away from the divorce with everything that is rightfully yours. Because Texas family law applies the principle of community property in divorce cases, you may additionally have the right to claim a share of your spouse's assets. We make it our goal to ensure that your divorce leaves you with as much as possible in terms of personal assets so that you are in the best possible position to move on in your life.
What is Considered a High Net Worth Divorce?
Generally, a high net worth divorce involves more than a million dollars in liquid assets. More often than not, these assets come in varieties such as business shares, homes, overseas assets, etc. The following is a guideline to help you understand what to expect:
- Most high asset divorces take a long time to complete. Ending a high net worth divorce is the equivalent of breaking up a huge company and patience is necessary.
- The costs of legal representation will increase due to the time and complexities involved.
- Your way of life and spending during this process will need to be revised, as excess spending during a divorce can send off warning signals to a judge.
- There will most likely be tax implications during these proceedings, which is why it is critical to retain the services of an experienced attorney.
Community vs. Separate Property in High Net Worth Divorce
The first step in the division of assets and debts is to make an accurate determination of what items and assets are community property and what is the separate property of each spouse. Possessions that were yours prior to the marriage will generally be classified as separate property, whereas nearly anything that you acquired during the marriage will be listed as community property.
There are, however, certain exceptions to this rule. In a business-owner divorce, for example, your spouse may have started his or her business before you got married. You may, however, have a claim to a share of the value of the company based on contributions that you made to its expansion over the years. Alternatively, an inheritance or gift received by either spouse during the marriage would normally be considered separate property, provided that it was gifted specifically to that spouse.
How Much Is the Marital Estate Worth?
After we have classified the property to determine what assets will be subject to division, it is next necessary to perform an exhaustive valuation of the estate. O’Neil Wysocki P.C. retains the services of experts including certified public accountants, financial planners, counselors, investigators, and others to fully address the concerns in your case. Furthermore, we skillfully use the legal process of discovery to compel the other spouse to reveal any and all assets, such as:
- 401(k) and other retirement account
- Liquid assets
- Vehicles, homes, vacation properties
- Business ownership stakes
Based on what we find during the discovery process, we can work toward a negotiated settlement or a courtroom verdict that provides you with your share of the marital estate. We are relentless in our pursuit of information that will benefit your case. You can rely on our experience in handling high-asset divorce cases to help you achieve the best possible result.
Alimony and Child Support in High Net Worth Divorce Cases
The financial circumstances of each spouse at the conclusion of the divorce will also influence the decision concerning payment of alimony / spousal support. In many high net worth divorce cases, one of the spouses has been economically dependent on the other spouse during the marriage and will now require alimony payments to make the transition back to being financially self-sufficient. Spousal support is also awarded in some cases in which one of the spouses is to blame for the failure of the marriage, such as through adultery or domestic violence.
Another consideration that frequently comes up in high net worth divorce is high-earner child support. If your monthly net income is in excess of $7,500, you may be subject to a different set of calculations to determine how much you will be required to pay in support to the other parent.
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