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, client debts, 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.