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High Net Worth Divorce Basics

Posted on in Division of Assets

high asset, high net worth, Naperville Divorce AttorneyDivorce is difficult for couples at any point in life, but when considerable wealth is involved, the process becomes much more complicated. If substantial assets need to be divided, each party wants to guarantee his or her fair share. This is true whether one spouse holds most of the assets or if both spouses worked hard to accumulate this wealth over time. High net worth divorce cases can also be more complicated due to the tax implications resulting from a potential settlement.

High-Asset Divorce Criteria

The main standard for determining “high-asset divorce” is that the couple or client have over $5 million in assets. However, this is not the only determining factor. A divorce is also considered high-asset if one or both parties additionally own a business, are listed as an heir to an inheritance, or purchased (and still own) significant amounts of property before the marriage.

Each state has specific rules and regulations governing the dissolution of marriage. These laws will determine how property should be divided in the event of a divorce, including rulings for property owned individually or purchased before marriage. High net worth couples should consult with a divorce attorney with experience in high-asset divorce cases to ensure equitable distribution and protect their share of marital wealth while minimizing tax burdens.

High-Asset Divorce Strategies

For couples who are even considering divorce, a thorough review of individual and joint finances and assets should be conducted before or shortly after filing. Banking, retirement, and investment accounts should all be reviewed, as well as property holdings such as real estate, antiquities, artwork, and jewelry. Business owners should account for business assets, and all parties must also factor in benefits from Social Security.

A skilled attorney will consult with a financial professional to review a client’s finances. This will be important for determining which properties belong to which parties and which assets need the most protection. It is also important to review any prenuptial or postnuptial agreements with an attorney since those may contain specific arrangements for the couple’s individual and joint finances.

Divorcing individuals should also take the time to discuss the possibility of future tax implications. A high-asset divorce attorney will know how to advise on tax-related questions such as:

  • How to file (separately or jointly);
  • If children are involved, which spouse gets to claim them as dependents;
  • How will the divorce affect the taxes on retirement accounts; and
  • Whether or not to sell assets.

If you are a high net worth individual who is considering a separation or divorce please do not delay in contacting a Naperville divorce attorney today at 630-352-2240. At the Pesce Law Group, P.C. we have the experience to successfully manage the nuanced divorce process for high net worth individuals and couples. We look forward to working with you.

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