Having a high net worth offers many benefits; unfortunately, an easy divorce is not usually one of them since there are usually more — and more complex — assets to divide and more issues to contest. In order to reach an equitable settlement, you should know what to expect, and one of the best ways to prepare yourself is to consult with a divorce attorney who is well-experienced in high net worth divorces. As a family law firm with attorneys who have this experience, here are 4 ways that you may find your high net worth divorce to be different:
1. More expensive.
New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, which means that a judge will decide financial issues based on fairness. This does not necessarily mean that everything will be divided equally. In a high net worth divorce, there are more assets to divide, including more complex assets that need expert evaluations as to worth and ownership.
Before you even start a divorce action, be sure both of you know the exact state of your finances. This will help you make rational decisions as you negotiate your divorce. In most marriages, one spouse handles the finances more than the other. If it’s that way in your household, and you’re not the one who handles the money, it’s time for you to learn everything about your income, assets, debts, and the household budget. If you need help, seek out a financial consultant.
2. Longer to resolve.
High net worth divorce cases tend to take longer than typical divorces. Complex assets like an art collection, jewelry, multiple properties and/or real estate in other states or countries usually require professional appraisals so you know their value before you engage in the fair distribution of marital assets. Typically, each party hires a separate appraiser to value these assets and disagreements between experts can add more time to the process.
3. Involve overseas assets.
High net worth couples often own real estate or conduct business in other countries. Usually, the process of divvying up these assets will require a thorough review of the potential tax consequences and an understanding of the laws of those countries when it comes to divorce and ownership issues.
4. Support payments are much greater.
While the divorce is pending, there may be a need for temporary support orders for a spouse and/or children. Those payments are likely to be much greater since the spouse and children are used to living a high net worth lifestyle — one that is not typically accounted for in normal New Jersey support guidelines. In addition, it is not unusual for one spouse in a high net worth divorce to conceal assets that disadvantage the other spouse when it comes to the amount of support being awarded.
Protecting your interests and achieving results that support your needs is what you can expect from Murphy & Cistaro. Contact us today for your free consultation.