Do you and your spouse have a significant net worth? If so, your divorce can be complicated, lengthy, and stressful.
The consequences can be significant. You should consider seeking the assistance of the experienced family law attorneys at Bikel & Schanfield.
A wealthy couple going through a divorce will have to navigate more and more complicated issues than the average divorce. That may take the form of child custody and maintenance in the context of private schools and multiple locations, multiple real estate holdings, a host of bank accounts, stock portfolios, and business interests.
Any one of these items can complicate a divorce, but higher net worth can mean dealing with all of these moving parts in the same proceeding. The decades of experience acquired by the attorneys at Bikel & Schanfield can assist in guiding you through this process and protecting your interests along the way.
High-net-worth divorces are not limited to high profile celebrities, if the following are at stake, consider hiring legal professionals to protect your interests:
- Complex investment profiles or stock options
- Patents, intellectual property, or literary rights
- Business interests and shared ownership
- Potential alimony or spousal support
- Complicated tax consequences of divorce, and other tax issues
- Interstate or international assets
Having significant assets in almost any other context is a boon, but it can be turned into a vulnerability if one spouse decides to employ the “take you for all you are worth” approach.
Even if things are civil in the calm before the storm, preparing for any approach by your spouse and their team of attorneys can ensure an outcome that leaves you as comfortable after the divorce as you are entering into it.
Developing and creating wealth is a lifelong task, do not let a legal proceeding separate you from that which you have worked to achieve. Employ the competent counsel of the family law attorneys at our firm.
Protect your assets and your interests.
Avoid the Pitfalls
Enlisting competent attorneys can help you pursue a path that avoids the common pitfalls in which individuals engaged in high net worth divorces often find themselves.
Those pitfalls can take many forms, but a sampling from significant experience and credible sources includes the following:
- Listening to your friends. Unless your friends advise you to get a good attorney, their advice may not help you through a complicated divorce. While friends may have your best intentions in mind, and even if they have one or two divorces under their belt, they have likely not navigated every dirty trick, and probably do not command a sophisticated understanding of the nuances of family law.
- Choosing not to investigate finances. It can be a mistake to take everything your spouse tells you at face value, especially if he or she has the more sophisticated understanding of finances. Strong attorneys and diligent support can help you understand what is at stake in your divorce, both in terms of what you stand to gain but also of what you stand to lose.
- Being guided by guilt. Guilt can be a powerful motivator towards the nearest exit in a divorce, but if you have a higher net worth then guilt may blind you what is at stake in the long-term. Attorneys can help ensure that a speedy divorce is not a crippling divorce, and whatever advantage to be gained by giving in to guilt will be nullified by the repercussions of what is sacrificed in that approach.
- Transferring assets. Any competent attorney can tell you that fraudulent transfers can hinder the ultimate divorce proceedings. However tempting it may be to find a creative way to shield assets from your spouse, shielding anything from the eyes of the law will only compromise your standing in subsequent proceedings. Seek the guidance of attorneys, and protect your assets and interests the right way.
Falling into one of these traps, or going it alone, in general, can result in a straight line to losing big in divorce proceedings, or at least losing credibility in the eyes of a family law court or judge.
Working with legal professionals, who in turn will work with financial professionals, can be the best way to protect your financial well-being in the time beyond your divorce.
Do not potentially compromise your ultimate divorce settlement or proceedings by neglecting to obtain competent counsel, seek the assistance of experienced attorneys before entering into the complex world of high-net-worth divorce. Seek the experienced counsel of Bikel & Schanfield lawyers.
Understand the Structure of Valuation and Distribution
New York employs a method called “equitable distribution” to divide property in a divorce.
This approach attempts to fairly, or equitably, divvy property such that the outcome benefits each spouse. While this is a holistic approach, some of the key elements often include:
- Looking at the duration of the marriage
- Determining the health and age of the spouses
- Looking to whether the spouses were wasteful with the marital property
- Looking to whether the spouses have improperly transferred marital property in anticipation of the divorce (see the pitfalls list above)
- Determining the holdings of each spouse before and after filing
- Determining inheritance rights in the instance of divorce
- Assessing the likely financial circumstances of each spouse in a divorce
This is not an exhaustive list, but merely an illustration of the milieu of questions a family law judge will seek to answer when diving your assets.
Avoiding litigation may be preferable than navigating this probing framework, but sometimes that is not in the cards. Either way, a competent attorney can increase your chances of a fruitful and fair settlement, or can guide you through the process of a complicated divorce in the event settlement does not bear out.
Do not put yourself in a vulnerable position, enlist the assistance of the capable family law attorneys at Bikel & Schanfield.