What are the special factors that come into play in a high net worth divorce?
While divorce is difficult at any time, decisions regarding property and the division of assets needs to be made. These decisions become extremely complex and confusing in cases of high net worth divorces, where the property and other assets are significant.
What are the Typical Assets in a High Net Worth Divorce?
Typically in a high net worth divorce, the assets involved may include family owned businesses, trust incomes, multiple homes including vacation homes, stocks and other investments and retirement plans, inheritances and gifts. North Carolina law allows couples to negotiate and arrive at decisions for equitable distribution of property and assets before bringing the case to trial. If the couple cannot agree, then they have an equitable distribution trial and a judge makes the decision as to how property will be divided.
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In case of high net worth divorce several additional factors come into play. Jointly owned businesses need to be valued. It is necessary to identify marital and non-marital property. If a prenuptial agreement exists then it needs to be examined to determine its validity. Of course, if either party feels that certain terms of the prenuptial agreement are unfair, it is necessary to contest those terms. In a high net worth divorce, it is important to arrive at the total value of all assets including off-shore accounts if any.
Qualified attorneys can help in all these areas. They work with other specialist professionals like CPAs to value a business or they may hire financial forensic investigators to arrive at the true and total value of the assets.
Attorneys help arrive at the terms of alimony or post separation settlement and also help in analyzing tax implications of the same.
In high net worth divorces, the terms of child support also differ and take into consideration special factors like private school tuition fees.