High Net Worth Individuals
There are a number of legal issues that individuals with a high net worth should address in anticipation of marriage, divorce, or related family law matters. Many people find that preparing for the financial aspects of divorce is beneficial in protecting their interests. At Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, our New Jersey family law attorneys can handle high-asset divorce cases for individuals in Westfield, Summit, and other New Jersey communities. Our lawyers realize that you may have concerns regarding the financial aspects of divorce, and we understand that providing individualized attention is necessary to advocate vigorously for your interests.Dissolving a Marriage for High Net Worth Individuals
Preparation and research is often required to identify and evaluate the assets, debts, property, and businesses of couples with high net worth that are divorcing. In many cases, the parties will have a prenuptial agreement in effect that may resolve some or part of the issues related to property division and spousal support. The agreement is usually reviewed by an attorney after the divorce to determine the rights agreed upon by the parties, as well as the remaining issues to be addressed. Child support and custody, for example, cannot be determined through prenuptial agreements and will need to be resolved after the marriage has ended by agreement or through the courts.
Couples without prenuptial agreements can reach an agreement as to the division of their marital assets and debts, or a court can distribute the marital property and debt equitably, considering many factors. Marital property consists of assets that are acquired during the marriage. It may include real estate, bank accounts and investments, retirement accounts and pensions, life insurance, and other assets. Separate property includes assets acquired by one spouse before the marriage, as well as gifts and inheritances made solely to one spouse during the marriage. While separate property may change form and value during the marriage, if it mingles with marital assets or increases in value due to the contributions of the other spouse, it may be subject to equitable division. For individuals with high net worth, it is particularly important to trace and account for their separate assets during the marriage, as well as distinguish between marital and separate property.
Generally, the more substantial the couples’ holdings, the longer the process will take to account for and equitably distribute the marital assets. If one or both of the parties owns a business or partnership, for example, it will likely require a formal valuation to determine the fair market value and the amount of interest each spouse has in the business. Stock options, retirement accounts, and pensions must also be carefully analyzed to determine which assets are subject to equitable distribution and which are separate property. Negotiations are often complex and may involve considerations such as whether to sell or liquidate an asset and divide the proceeds, or retain and distribute the asset to one spouse in exchange for an asset of comparative value.Explore your Options with a New Jersey Divorce Attorney
If you are concerned about protecting your financial interests in a high asset divorce, it may be beneficial to seek guidance from a skilled attorney. At Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper, our practice includes diverse, overlapping areas of law, including tax, real estate, corporate law, and trusts, which we utilize to provide comprehensive legal advice to high net worth individuals who are dissolving a marriage. Our New Jersey divorce lawyers can represent people throughout the state in all areas of family law, including child custody and support, alimony, asset distribution, and more. Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper operates offices in Westfield, Summit, and Red Bank. We can provide legal advice to people in communities across Union, Monmouth, Middlesex, Morris, and Bergen Counties, among other areas. Call us at (908) 233-6800 or contact us online to set up a consultation.