Common Issues in High-Net Worth Divorces

Divorce can be a long and drawn out process for any couple, but when there is a large amount of money at stake, it can be even more complex. According to Forbes Magazine, there are currently approximately 1,645 billionaires across the globe with a total net worth of over $6.4 trillion dollars. Professionals, such as business owners, executives, lawyers, doctors and other individuals who are highly compensated, face other issues in addition to the basic property division issues found in a typical divorce. Thus, it is important that these individuals consult an experienced high-net worth divorce attorney to help them iron out relevant details and make sure that their assets are well protected in the event of a separation.

Tackling High-Net Worth Divorces

The resolution of a divorce typically begins with identifying each spouse’s assets and property. However when high-net professionals are involved, additional factors such as different forms of income, stock options, phantom stock, and incentive packages can complicate matters. Although parties are usually expected to disclose this information, they often fail to do so and a party’s attorney may have to use additional resources to uncover the pertinent information. The following are some of the important tools attorneys use to address high-net asset issues:

  • Tracing: Allows a party to establish the whereabouts of an asset or property and identifies who has ownership. It is also a legal remedy often used in divorces to determine whether assets that were separate before the marriage have been commingled.
  • Characterization of Assets: Determining whether an asset is considered separate property or communal property can dramatically affect a settlement in a high-net divorce. Lawyers often use the help of experts such as financial advisors and accountants to help with asset characterization.
  • Valuation of Assets: Sometimes, the value of an asset can be hard to determine because it can vary. For example, the fair market value of a property interest may be different than the investment value of the interest. Lawyers must refer to the law and evaluate the facts of the case to determine which valuation is appropriate.
  • Division of Assets: Like most divorces, once all relevant assets are disclosed and characterized, the divorce settlement will be based on the division of the assets.

Consult an Experienced High-Net Worth Divorce Attorney

If you are a high-net worth professional who is contemplating divorce, it is advisable to seek the help of an experienced and seasoned DuPage County divorce attorney. High-net worth divorces are often complex and require additional resources to ensure that certain property is properly characterized and protected. The lawyers at Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C. are highly knowledgeable in divorce law and can help you make sure that your transition into divorced life is as smooth as possible.