Are you involved in a divorce where, as a couple, you have a high net worth? Also called high asset divorces, the ending of a marriage where substantial assets are involved can be especially complicated. Marital assets often result in additional issues with respect to property distribution during the divorce proceedings.
When a couple has a high net worth, it may be tempting for one of the spouses to hide some of the assets to lower the total value of the marital estate. Many high asset divorce cases involve financial investigations for hidden assets. Hiding assets can be a significant problem if the divorce court cannot make a true determination of the total estate value. There are consequences if it is discovered that assets were hidden from the court. In addition to losing some of their share of the estate, there are criminal penalties imposed on a spouse who fails to disclose complete financial information.
Valuing Your Assets
Another issue that may arise in high net worth divorce cases is the improper valuing of assets. Like hiding assets, one spouse may attempt to place a much lower value on an asset to preserve their own wealth. Real estate can be listed at a much lower value as the valuation of extensive real estate holdings can be a costly and time-consuming process. Valuable items, such as rare artwork or jewelry, may be hard to value if there are no comparable items on the market. Parties should agree with respect to use a qualified appraiser to make sure each party is protected.
Significant Tax Consequences
Almost all property distribution resulting from divorce proceedings have some type of tax consequence. When high value assets that include retirement accounts, stock options, bank accounts, or real estate holdings are transferred, the tax consequences can be significant. If not handled properly, large windfalls and liquidation of certain retirement accounts can result in high tax obligations. In these situations, neither spouse wins. Working with financial professionals, along with your divorce attorney, can help ensure that all tax consequences have been considered and addressed prior to the final divorce decree.
Protect Your Financial Interests
One of the easiest ways to protect your assets is by hiring a divorce attorney who has experience with the process of property distribution. It is also important to use the proper attorney to enforce any existing premarital or post-marital agreements. Many of these complex agreements set forth how a high asset divorce will be handled, including the distribution of marital assets. It is always prudent to protect one’s assets using a premarital agreement before the marriage takes place.
Baltimore County Divorce Lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC Handle High Asset Divorce Cases
If you are involved in a high asset divorce, the experienced Baltimore County divorce lawyers at Huesman, Jones & Miles, LLC are ready to assist you in all aspects of your divorce, including property distribution, child custody, and child support issues. Call us today at 443-589-0150 or submit an online inquiry form. With office locations in Hunt Valley and Towson, Maryland, we proudly serve clients throughout the state.