Complexity Of A High Net-Worth Divorce
- October 19, 2013
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In New Jersey, divorces are complicated proceedings for most people who have to endure them, but high net-worth divorces add a greatly increased level of complexity for those people who have significant wealth. High net-worth divorces involve a party or parties who have accumulated great wealth and assets. The reason that high net-worth divorces can become more complicated than other divorces is because these divorces usually involve substantial incomes, assets, investments, and liabilities. The laws of New Jersey require the equitable distribution of the assets and liabilities that were accumulated during the duration of the marriage. Therefore, it logically follows that for individuals who have more finances, more investments, more assets, and more liabilities than the average person, the more complex and difficult the divorce process becomes. Although each high net-worth divorce is different, there are some common issues that tend to arise in high net-worth divorces. Often, individuals who have acquired significant wealth are involved in a myriad of varying lucrative business arrangements as well as investment opportunities including stock options and deferred compensation plans. During equitable distribution, dividing these diverse assets and liabilities can become extremely complicated and require evaluations by specialized financial advisors and forensic accountants. Complicated retirement plan structures including pensions, 401k plans and other retirement plans that were contributed to during the term of the marriage or civil union are also subject to equitable distribution and require analysis and proper accounting. Further, investments such as options, REITs, tax sale certificates, real properties and others need specially trained accountants and other financial advisors to conduct current and future valuations to determine how these assets could and should be divided as a consequence of the parties’ divorce. Beyond equitable distribution all other aspects of high net worth are magnified in complexity. For instance, issues concerning alimony and spousal support become more difficult to negotiate as the parties have become accustomed to an unusually high standard of living. In addition, after a specific income ceiling, New Jersey’s child support guidelines only serve as the starting point for determining the child support obligation and then other factors are considered to determine whether the child support amounts should go above the amount dictated by the standard guidelines. If you or your spouse or partner have amassed substantial wealth and are considering divorce, it is absolutely necessary for you to have an experienced family law attorney at your side to protect you and your lifestyle. For more information about high net-worth divorces, equitable distribution, alimony, child support and other family law matters in New Jersey visit HeatherDarlingLawyer.com and NJCivilUnionLaw.com. This blog is for informational purposes and in no way intended to replace the advice of an attorney.