NEW JERSEY HIGH-NET-WORTH DIVORCE LAWYERS
Worried about Protecting What’s Yours? We’ll Fight for Your Rights.
PRESERVING YOUR WEALTH IN YOUR DIVORCE
Every divorce has its difficulties and complications. But high-net-worth divorces are typically more complex because of the various assets (and possibly debts) involved. Simply put, the high financial stakes can lead to disputes with your soon-to-be-ex spouse and worries over what you could potentially lose that you worked so hard for if things don’t go your way. For these reasons, it’s essential to have legal representation from a law firm that understands the intricacies inherent in high-asset divorces. The right legal guidance can make a significant difference in how your divorce resolves and what assets and property you walk away with.
Experienced NJ High-Net-Worth Divorce Attorneys Protect Your Assets
At [MFR] Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers, we have extensive experience helping clients in high-net-worth divorces obtain their desired outcomes. Our goal is to safeguard your interests in divorce so you can move on with your life, with your wealth intact. Call (201) 654-4263 to arrange a consultation with one of our high-net-worth New Jersey divorce lawyer.
WHY CHOOSE OUR DIVORCE LAWYERS?
When your assets are at stake, you need highly skilled legal representation. Law firm founder Carrie S. Schultz and her team of attorneys have decades of combined experience beneficially resolving divorce issues for high-net-worth clients.
- We are widely recognized for professional excellence by our legal peers.
- We have the knowledge base and experience in dealing with business related issues, novel tax issues, impact of a divorce on business partnerships, impact on stock options, stock grants, and retirement assets, and the like
- We have received numerous positive reviews from previous high-asset clients.
- The firm has a Better Business Bureau A+ rating.
Another benefit of working with us? Our attorneys only handle divorce cases and family law matters, so we are not distracted by other areas of the law. You can count on us to provide exceptional services and sound legal guidance.
WHAT IS A HIGH-ASSET DIVORCE?
In general terms, people in high-net-worth marriages have significant liquid assets—such as $1 million or several hundred million. These assets may include:
- Businesses or professional practices
- Stock and stock options
- Equity compensation
- IRAs, profit sharing, pensions and other retirement assets
- Residences, vacation properties, rentals and commercial real estate holdings
- Valuable cars, boats, artwork, jewelry and other personal property.
There are a lot of not-so-straightforward legal questions surrounding these kinds of assets, including, most importantly, whether they are separate or marital property.
WHAT IS SEPARATE AND MARITAL PROPERTY?
Speaking generally, assets that parties bring into the start of their marriage or that they obtained through an inheritance during the marriage start with the premise that they are separate property and not subject to division, unless there is an exception that would be applicable to that rule. Assets obtained during marriage are considered marital property and are subject to division.
Of course, there are always exceptions. Sometimes assets owned prior to marriage or titled in one person’s name can become marital property, whether intentionally or by accident. Here are some examples of instances in which separate property may become marital property:
- Money that one spouse receives through inheritance is separate property. But if it’s put into joint savings or investment accounts—or used to fund the marital lifestyle, it could be considered marital property.
- If one spouse owns a house before the marriage and the title is changed so both spouses are listed as owners, a portion of it may be considered marital property unless the circumstances make a good case as to why it should not be.
- Even if a house owned before marriage remains only in the name of one spouse, its increase in value since the marriage started may be divided.
Proving who owns what in a high-asset divorce can be very challenging. Our attorneys have the in-depth insight into New Jersey divorce law that allows them to rise to the challenge.
VALUING ASSETS FOR MARITAL DISTRIBUTION
Once property is identified as being in the marital pot, it must be valued before it can be divided.
Valuing assets can be relatively straightforward, such as for a bank account, or it can be much more complex and require the help of forensic accountants and other experts, such as in valuing a business, for example.
We do not want you to unknowingly give up more than your fair share, which is why we work with a number of appraisers and financial experts who have specific experience valuing assets for purposes of dividing property in divorce. If necessary, we can also challenge your spouse’s appraisals, and we have a variety of means available for ensuring that your equitable distribution is based upon appropriate valuations.
These valuations and reports are for the divorce process only. That said, it is important to understand that you and your spouse could get into trouble with the IRS if you knew or should have known of any income underreporting, so that is a discussion very much relevant to help settle your case.
HOW OUR NJ HIGH-NET-WORTH DIVORCE LAWYERS CAN HELP
Property can be divided through negotiations between you and your spouse, or if there is too much conflict in your situation to make settlement a reality and your case goes to trial, by a New Jersey judge.
Negotiating Your Divorce Settlement
If you and your spouse are on decent terms, negotiating a settlement may be an option for you, but negotiations shouldn’t be approached lightly. With so much on the table, it’s necessary to have a plan from the start. You should know what your goals are and what financial assets you want to come away with. We will guide you in thinking through all of these issues and will establish a strategic plan for negotiating a fair and advantageous settlement.
Advocating For Your Interests at Trial
Should your divorce go to trial, the judge will divide your marital property based on the numerous equitable-distribution factors spelled out in NJSA 2A:34-23.1.
There are various ways to effectuate the equitable distribution of the assets to be divided. Some take a straight percentage of the value of the assets. Others want to trade one asset for another. Some offset varying assets so no physical money must be exchanged between the parties. It really just depends on what is best, given the totality of the circumstances.
We will work zealously to protect the property you brought to your marriage and to ensure that marital property is fairly divided.
OUR NJ HIGH-NET-WORTH DIVORCE ATTORNEYS ANSWER FAQS
Issues in divorce can be confusing. In high-asset divorces, they can be even more so. Here we answer some of the questions we frequently hear from clients.
Is alimony a factor in a high-net-worth divorce?
It can be, depending on all the circumstances. And the amount of alimony can be significant, especially if there is a large disparity in the spouses’ incomes.
NJSA 2A:34-23(b) sets out factors a judge must consider when there is a request for alimony and, if it’s given, how much and for how long. If alimony may be a factor in your divorce, an alimony lawyer from our firm can provide advice for your situation.
How are business assets handled?
The business, or the owner spouse’s percentage in it, must be valued, which is not necessarily a straightforward process. Business income may not be clear, such as if personal expenses were paid through the business. There may be ownership agreements with co-owners stipulating what happens in case of divorce. These are just a couple of examples. We retain forensic accountants and other experts to assist in the valuation process.
How do prenuptial and mid-marriage agreements affect equitable distribution?
The one way to avoid New Jersey’s equitable distribution rule is by entering into a prenuptial or mid-marriage agreement. If you and your fiancé or spouse signed an enforceable agreement that addressed property rights in the event of a divorce, our NJ high-net-worth divorce lawyers can use your agreement to make sure your assets protected by the agreement are secure.
What are the tax considerations in a high-asset divorce?
For wealthy individuals, the distribution of marital property in a divorce can potentially trigger substantial tax liabilities or tax benefits. Our attorneys understand the tax implications of high-net-worth divorces and can help structure your property distribution to minimize your overall tax obligation. As divorce lawyers we are not tax experts, but we work closely with CPAs, tax attorneys and other professionals with expertise in federal and state tax laws.
What if I think my spouse is hiding assets?
If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets we will investigate to discover whether an attempt is being made to cheat you out of fair distribution. If it is, we’ll hold them accountable.
Reach out directly to our law firm for answers specific to your divorce situation.
HIGH ASSET DIVORCE ATTORNEYS NJ
We Safeguard Financial Futures
You have the right to be treated fairly in your divorce. We’ll work to make sure you are. To learn how we can help, contact [MFR] Men’s & Fathers’ Rights Divorce Lawyers to arrange a confidential consultation.
Call our Bergen County law office at (201) 880-9770 to speak with an experienced NJ high-net-worth divorce attorney.