High Asset Divorce
High Asset Divorce
A high asset divorce is governed by the same laws as any other Indiana divorce. The trial court presumes an equal division of the marital estate (assets minus liabilities), unless one party demonstrates otherwise in the evidence. In any case, with a high net worth divorce, the trial court, as in any other divorce, must divide the marital estate in a just and reasonable manner.
To aid the trial court with this task, most high net worth divorce lawyers employ a variety of tools that are unique to a high asset divorce in order to ensure that the logical contingencies are accounted for and that the case is ready for mediation, and trial, in the event that it is not resolved by agreement at mediation or prior to trial.
This makes the high asset divorce attorney a necessary consideration. He or she must identify more complicated business matters to properly handle the high net worth divorce. This includes determining which types of professionals will value unique items (such as business interests, multiple financial accounts) and will value these assets as of the date of filing the divorce. The high asset divorce attorney must also prepare for evidence that may be necessary to account for significant fluctuations before a final hearing and determine the latest date the court may pick in its discretion to value the marital estate to be divided.
Further, high net worth divorce usually requires tax consultations with a tax forensic account, a business law attorney, and the use of financial planners and other business experts. To the extent these are necessary, the divorce becomes much more difficult because all of the assets have to be identified, valued, and considered in the final analysis to ensure that the parties’ lifestyle is maximized after divorce, or to ensure that the divorce does not significantly impair the ultimate marital estate to divide, such as may be the case with a family business where the spouses each own half.
In fact, the divorce process itself may drastically impact a business equally owned by each spouse. Thus, it is important to discuss the high asset divorce with your divorce attorney and make sure it is apparent at the outset. Both attorney and client should have the same view toward the case, determine and have the means/tools to accomplish what is necessary to prepare for final division, so that, to the extent possible, the attorney can reach the client’s legal objective.
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