Posts tagged with "high asset divorce"

Common Ways Spouses Attempt to Hide Assets Upon Divorce

Divorce is likely one of the worst times of a persons life, or best if you can’t wait to get out of a miserable relationship. But one thing is for sure, divorces get messy. Too often they turn into drawn out court battles, custody disputes, or the worst of all, one spouse hiding assets from the other. We have all heard the phrases “I was cleaned out after my divorce,” or “my spouse took everything” in the divorce, and although its far from the legal truth, too many people believe this and try to protect their assets by hiding them. Not only is hiding assets from someone you previously loved immoral, it is also highly illegal. Even so, discovering hidden assets is something our divorce group, specifically our high asset divorce group, does regularly. Here are just some of the ways in which we have discovered individuals attempting to hide assets from their spouses. This list is meant to aid spouses from being outed in divorce, not aid the illegal hiding of such assets.

1. Transfer assets to a separate account. This involves taking money from a joint bank and brokerage accounts and transferring it to an account only in one spouses name.

2. Transfer assets to a friend. In a joint bank or brokerage account, both parties have full control over the assets.
Some people systematically transfer cash and/or investments to an account their friend holds, and then once the divorce is finalized, that friend transfers it back to them.

3. Overpay the Internal Revenue Service. Some individuals who know they are going to file for divorce next year instruct the IRS to use this year’s refund for next year’s tax. Once the divorce is final, they receive a large overpayment from IRS that they use against future tax.

4. Take cash withdrawals on debit cards. Some people use debit cards for every day purchases. When you use a debit card, you are always asked if you would like cash back. In this instance, the individuals continually answer yes to that question and withdraw small sums of money multiple times over a long period of time. Here, the actions are hidden because the total charge shows as groceries, clothes, movies, etc.

5. Turn down promotions and raises. Some people tell their boss to delay any promotions (if one is coming) and set any raises/bonuses aside until after it was finalized.

6. Accrue commissions. After closing deals at work, some spouses request that their commission is delayed for tax purposes, i.e. hiding it from their spouse in divorce.

If your spouse owns their own business, they could also be using some of the below techniques to hide income from you:

8. Not invoice clients. It wouldn’t be difficult to delay invoicing clients until after the divorce. Although accounts receivables would be accrued assets, this is easier to hide than cold hard cash.

9. Create fake expenses. Creating fake expenses, paying fake vendors, and adding family or friends to the payroll is a common way for individuals to hide money through their business.

10. Go on a shopping spree. This is self explanatory.

If you think your spouse is hiding assets, or you are worried they might try to when you ask for a divorce, call one of the experienced divorce attorneys at Maya Murphy today. With decades of experience in both the New York and Connecticut courts, one of our attorneys can help you with any divorce or family law matter you may have. Call 203-222-MAYA or email Ask@mayalaw.com to schedule a consultation today!

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Pre-Nups are for More than Just the Wealthy

A Prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two individuals planning to get married on how property will be distributed on the possibility of their separation. While no one likes to imagine separating at such an exciting time as just before marriage, if you have extensive assets, it must be considered.

Individuals with high wealth and those who are getting married later in life have often accrued a significant number of assets that it would be difficult to part with in the unfortunate event that their marriage did not work out. Entrepreneurs with established businesses could also find it beneficial to protect their enterprise by using a prenuptial agreement to ensure that business assets remain with them in the event of a break up.

For people who have been married before, or who have kids from a previous relationship, prenuptial agreements are much more common because they have already experienced a divorce and know how messy property division and child custody issues can be. Prenuptial agreements are also more common for marriages where one of the parties has inherited or will inherit a large sum of money.

When executing such an agreement, an attorney is necessary to complete the process correctly. While courts in Connecticut will enforce a prenuptial agreement, it must meet some very strict guidelines or a court may completely disregard it. Some of these guidelines include full disclosure of assets, a signed document in writing, and for each party to have individual professional representation. Such guidelines ensure fairness and efficiency of the process so no spouse is left in the dark upon divorce.

If you are considering a pre-nup or need to have one enforced upon divorce, contact one of the experienced divorce attorneys at Maya Murphy today. Our attorneys have worked countless divorce and family law cases in the courts of Connecticut and New York for decades. Get the answers you need and the representation you deserve. Call 203-222-MAYA or email Ask@mayalaw.com to schedule a consultation today!

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Pre-Nups are for More than Just the Wealthy

A Prenuptial agreement is an agreement between two individuals planning to get married on how property will be distributed on the possibility of their separation. While no one likes to imagine separating at such an exciting time as just before marriage, if you have extensive assets, it must be considered.

Individuals with high wealth and those who are getting married later in life have often accrued a significant number of assets that it would be difficult to part with in the unfortunate event that their marriage did not work out. Entrepreneurs with established businesses could also find it beneficial to protect their enterprise by using a prenuptial agreement to ensure that business assets remain with them in the event of a break up.

For people who have been married before, or who have kids from a previous relationship, prenuptial agreements are much more common because they have already experienced a divorce and know how messy property division and child custody issues can be. Prenuptial agreements are also more common for marriages where one of the parties has inherited or will inherit a large sum of money.

When executing such an agreement, an attorney is necessary to complete the process correctly. While courts in Connecticut will enforce a prenuptial agreement, it must meet some very strict guidelines or a court may completely disregard it. Some of these guidelines include full disclosure of assets, a signed document in writing, and for each party to have individual professional representation. Such guidelines ensure fairness and efficiency of the process so no spouse is left in the dark upon divorce.

If you are considering a pre-nup or need to have one enforced upon divorce, contact one of the experienced divorce attorneys at Maya Murphy today. Our attorneys have worked countless divorce and family law cases in the courts of Connecticut and New York for decades. Get the answers you need and the representation you deserve. Call 203-222-MAYA or email Ask@mayalaw.com to schedule a consultation today!

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Can My Spouse Take Everything in the Divorce?

The short answer is simple: no. Contrary to what you may hear, or what you may think, your spouse cannot take everything you own in a divorce. As a whole, our society throws around phrases like “she took him to the cleaners,” or “she bled him dry,” but those statements are far from the truth. In reality, Connecticut courts follow equitable distribution laws when dividing marital property upon divorce. The statute states:

“At the time of entering a decree annulling or dissolving a marriage or for legal separation pursuant to a complaint under section 46b-45, the Superior Court may assign to either the husband or wife all or any part of the estate of the other.” CONN. GEN. STAT § 46b-81(a)

But no court awards all of one spouse’s property to another because the court must follow certain factors and considerations when deciding who gets what. Before such factors are even considered, the couple’s property is first classified to determine which property is even eligible for division. Such classification involves the court determining whether the asset was earned prior to or subsequent to the date of marriage to determine whether the asset is marital property. To simplify, usually property owned before marriage is not subject to division but anything acquired during the marriage is.

Once the property is classified, then the court will apply a bunch of equitable factors to determine who gets what property. For instance, in Connecticut, equitable distribution of property “should take into consideration the plaintiff’s contributions to the marriage, including homemaking activities and primary care taking responsibilities. . . and that a determination of each spouses’ contribution includes non-monetary as well as monetary contributions.” O’Neill v. O’Neill, 13 Conn. App. 311.

Such factors are also considered alongside the length of the marriage, the age, health, station, occupation, amount and sources of income, vocational skills, employability, estate, liabilities, and needs of each of the parties and the opportunity of each for future acquisition of capital assets and income. C.G.S.A. 46b-81 (c).

These steps the court must take before dividing property upon divorce ensures no one gets “hosed” or “cleaned out” upon divorce. While one spouse may end up feeling one of those ways, the actual distribution is never the ultimate reason why.

If you or someone you know is preparing for a divorce, or needs representation for divorce, feel free to call one of the experienced divorce attorneys at Maya Murphy, PC today. Our attorneys have decades of experience with divorce and family issues in both Connecticut and New York including child custody disputes, high asset divorce, alimony modifications and divorce mediation. Feel free to call 203-222-MAYA or email Ask@mayalaw.com to schedule a consultation today!

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How is a High-End Divorce Different than a Regular Divorce?

In many ways high-end divorces and lower asset divorces are very similar. Basically, a divorce involves child custody, property division, and alimony. But, there are various factors that complicate a high-end divorce. When spouses have a high net worth, own a business, or own significant assets, property division becomes much more difficult and complex. Often, individuals with large assets own various investment properties, residences, and/or corporations which hold that property. Unlike with a lower income divorce, these assets are much more difficult to divide appropriately and distribute.

It is also important to mention that with many couples, one spouse has significant assets tied to his or her career or passed down from his or her family. In many cases, a complete financial analysis may require that these assets be considered in arriving to an equitable settlement. Our attorneys make sure that a full and complete inventory of all assets of the clients is prepared, including cash, checking accounts, savings and money-market accounts, Children’s Bank Accounts, retirement accounts, non-retirement investment accounts, deferred pay-raises or bonuses, etc.

Unfortunately, in high-end divorces assets have tendency to disappear once the divorce proceedings have commenced, and it is vital that an attorney working with a high net worth client have knowledge of finance and tax laws in addition to legal knowledge in order to be able to discover these hidden assets, present a full and complete financial picture of the couple and most importantly, address concerns such as future payments of alimony, “maintenance” of the lifestyle a non-working spouse is accustomed to, disparity of income and others. Our own experience illustrates that financial planning is a means of reaching a more equitable divorce settlement. In essence, analyzing the marriage as if it were a financial contract when it comes to division of property makes it possible to achieve best possible results for our clients.

To reduce stress levels and to ensure that your assets are protected, an attorney of Maya Murphy will provide you with the following services for your high-end divorce:

  • Valuation of your business: Before dividing up assets, the full and fair value of the business must be determined. A high-end divorce attorney will work with business valuation experts to evaluate accounts receivable, debt, and business assets.
  • Investigation of hidden assets: In a high-end divorce, there is the potential for one of the parties to hide assets. An investigation is often needed to determine if any stocks, mutual funds, insurance policies, bonds, and unreported income have been held back.
  • Negotiation of alimony agreement: When one spouse is financially dependent on the other, he or she may require help securing a fair alimony agreement for life after the divorce.
  • Division of stock options: Many high-income families in Pennsylvania have vested stock options that will have to be divided up during the divorce. It is necessary not only to divide up the stock options but also to determine who will pay taxes on the stocks.

These are just some of the many services that one of Maya Murphy’s high-end divorce attorneys will provide you with to help complete your divorce efficiently and in your favor. If you are in the middle of a divorce, or even if you are contemplating a divorce, it is critical to have a fair and accurate assessment of your assets. Contact an experienced high-end divorce attorney who will work diligently to protect your rights and best interests. Call Maya Murphy today at 203-222-MAYA or email at Ask@mayalaw.com.

Continue Reading

How is a High-End Divorce Different than a Regular Divorce?

In many ways high-end divorces and lower asset divorces are very similar. Basically, a divorce involves child custody, property division, and alimony. But, there are various factors that complicate a high-end divorce. When spouses have a high net worth, own a business, or own significant assets, property division becomes much more difficult and complex. Often, individuals with large assets own various investment properties, residences, and/or corporations which hold that property. Unlike with a lower income divorce, these assets are much more difficult to divide appropriately and distribute.

It is also important to mention that with many couples, one spouse has significant assets tied to his or her career or passed down from his or her family. In many cases, a complete financial analysis may require that these assets be considered in arriving to an equitable settlement. Our attorneys make sure that a full and complete inventory of all assets of the clients is prepared, including cash, checking accounts, savings and money-market accounts, Children’s Bank Accounts, retirement accounts, non-retirement investment accounts, deferred pay-raises or bonuses, etc.

Unfortunately, in high-end divorces assets have tendency to disappear once the divorce proceedings have commenced, and it is vital that an attorney working with a high net worth client have knowledge of finance and tax laws in addition to legal knowledge in order to be able to discover these hidden assets, present a full and complete financial picture of the couple and most importantly, address concerns such as future payments of alimony, “maintenance” of the lifestyle a non-working spouse is accustomed to, disparity of income and others. Our own experience illustrates that financial planning is a means of reaching a more equitable divorce settlement. In essence, analyzing the marriage as if it were a financial contract when it comes to division of property makes it possible to achieve best possible results for our clients.

To reduce stress levels and to ensure that your assets are protected, an attorney of Maya Murphy will provide you with the following services for your high-end divorce:

  • Valuation of your business: Before dividing up assets, the full and fair value of the business must be determined. A high-end divorce attorney will work with business valuation experts to evaluate accounts receivable, debt, and business assets.
  • Investigation of hidden assets: In a high-end divorce, there is the potential for one of the parties to hide assets. An investigation is often needed to determine if any stocks, mutual funds, insurance policies, bonds, and unreported income have been held back.
  • Negotiation of alimony agreement: When one spouse is financially dependent on the other, he or she may require help securing a fair alimony agreement for life after the divorce.
  • Division of stock options: Many high-income families in Pennsylvania have vested stock options that will have to be divided up during the divorce. It is necessary not only to divide up the stock options but also to determine who will pay taxes on the stocks.

These are just some of the many services that one of Maya Murphy’s high-end divorce attorneys will provide you with to help complete your divorce efficiently and in your favor. If you are in the middle of a divorce, or even if you are contemplating a divorce, it is critical to have a fair and accurate assessment of your assets. Contact an experienced high-end divorce attorney who will work diligently to protect your rights and best interests. Call Maya Murphy today at 203-222-MAYA or email at Ask@mayalaw.com.

Continue Reading