Marital conflicts that lead to the dissolution of marriage can be faced with disputes that can become very stressful, emotional and destructive, as spouses try to discredit each other in court in order to win the favor of the family judge hearing their case. This is often the scenario in a contested divorce case, wherein sensitive divorce-related issues, which include child custody and visitation rights, child support, alimony or spousal support, and division of properties, assets and debts, need to be settled.
Though divorce is already a strenuously difficult process, it can still become much more difficult if the spouses involved have considerable assets and income. This added layer of difficulty is due to the more complicated financial situation of the spouses which, as the website of BB Attorney describes can involve:
- Assets held in investment portfolios, stock options, retirement plans, trust interests
- 401(k) plans, IRAs, and other types of profit-sharing plans
- A closely held family business
- Family investments
- Separation of individually owned property (or property acquired by each spouse prior to marriage) from community property (which are resources and holdings commonly owned by the spouses)
- The possibility of a spouse hiding some of his/her assets
A high net worth divorce specifically makes challenging the issue of division of properties and assets. It will take a highly-skilled divorce attorney to be able to navigate through this case’s level of complexity, which entails review of the prenuptial and/or postnuptial agreement and all other financial endeavors by the spouses during the marriage.
Review of all financial activities entered into by the spouses, whether before or during marriage, is a primary requirement in high net worth divorce cases as this will help establish which properties are (or are not) subject for division, determine the total value of the properties, and allow for the drawing up of the best agreement on how to execute the division.
Since the final agreement in asset and property distribution will have a major impact on the life of each spouse, it is very essential that all relevant things are considered; these include: taxes and expenses incurred in the divorce case (like court and all other legal fees); the creation of a trust that will address alimony issues; the possibility of bankruptcy (of the payor spouse); and, assets that might not be liquid, are not income-producing, and debt-encumbered.
It is for these reasons why only a divorce attorney who really knows his trade should be sought. Besides providing the assistance that a spouse may just need, he/she will also know the best property valuator, accountant and other experts that should be hired.