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Seven Complexities of High-Net-Worth Divorces and How to Proceed 

Posted on in Division of Assets

dupage county divorce lawyerAll divorces can be difficult, but high-net-worth divorces are inclined to be more complicated, laborious, expensive, and lengthy because of the division of high-valued assets. A high-net-worth divorce attorney will uncover any hidden and devalued assets possessed by the opposing party. Once discovered and classified, a high-net-worth divorce attorney will advocate for the equitable division of marital and non-marital property. A high-net-worth divorce lawyer will also tackle the more commonplace disputes, such as alimony, child support, child custody, and parenting time.

Although marital agreements can mitigate the complexities of high-net-worth divorces, they can sometimes be deemed invalid. For instance, a spouse can claim the signing of a marital agreement was under coercion. So, a high-net-worth divorce attorney will scrupulously evaluate all assets and agreements.

Seven Common Conflicts of High-Net-Worth Divorce

  • Hidden assets – A spouse may hide assets under a different name or entity throughout the marriage or during the divorce proceedings. Such assets could include land, real estate, jewelry, art, a plane, or even a yacht
  • Devalued assets – Deliberately depreciating the value of rare antiques and art by falsifying the original price or damaging the property is a tactic a spouse may use to undermine premarital assets. 
  • Employer collusion – This entails a spouse colluding with an employer to postpone stock options or bonuses until after the divorce with the intent to hide marital funds.
  • Redirected financial statements – Changing mailing addresses of a bank, credit card, and other financial statements to be sent to secret post office boxes or email accounts may indicate a spouse’s intent to hide funds.
  • Overpaid income taxes – To defer a tax refund until after the divorce, a spouse might overpay current income taxes.
  • Pay down debt – For purposes of hiding funds, a spouse might pay down mortgages, credit cards, or loans, resulting in a reduction of outstanding principal.
  • Fraudulent conveyance – Covertly transferring assets to another legal entity, like a corporation, could be deemed fraudulent.  Another example of fraudulent conveyance is selling assets, such as a rare painting, to a relative or friend only to repurchase it after the finalized divorce decree.

How to Proceed   

Marital and non-marital high-net assets could include businesses, real estate, stock, trust funds, royalties, and inheritance.  Every high-net-worth divorce is unique and encumbered with challenges as extensive as they are diverse. For instance, an alternate payee, the non-employee or non-contributing spouse, could be the sole proprietor of a non-marital family inheritance that is in dispute by the opposing party. Along with protecting assets and advocating for fair asset division, high-net-worth divorce lawyers are also disciplined in inheritance matters. 

It is common for high-net-worth divorce attorneys to appoint outside reinforcements to assist with asset appraisal and asset tracing. These expert witnesses could include a forensic accountant, a tax advisor, a financial planner, and appraisers of real estate, jewelry, art, antiques, and any other luxury property. A business valuator may also be sought to determine the value of any family or shared businesses.

Contact a DuPage County High-Net-Worth Divorce Attorney

At Pesce Law Group P.C., we treat our high-net-worth divorce clients with compassion and dignity, and we strive to alleviate acrimony.  We are high-net-worth divorce attorneys who advocate for fair and favorable asset division with aggressive thoroughness.  We are as steadfast in asset protection as we are in asset tracing.  For a free consultation, contact a Burr Ridge high-net-worth divorce attorney at 630-230-1002.


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