Married couples who have a high net worth (defined by Investopedia as $5 million or more) have additional hurdles when they begin divorce proceedings. Below are some ways that a dissolution of marriage involving millions of dollars differs from most divorces:
- Greater complexity: It is no simple task to identify and appraise the value of all the marital assets. These could include investments, businesses, vacation homes, commercial and residential rental properties, art collections, antiques, multiple vehicles, boats, luxury goods and jewelry. This could also include complicated employment benefits and complex estate plans. It may be necessary to hire an independent accounting firm, valuation expert, or other financial advisor to properly chronicle and assess the value of all marital property.
- More time-consuming: It could take months to compile complete, accurate financial records, and also more time for the court to review them. Expect more and lengthier interrogatories and depositions. High net worth couples should expect the entire divorce process to take a year or more to be finalized, rather than six to twelve months in a typical divorce.
- Larger tax impacts: Divorcing spouses may have to pay more capital gains tax if property they own has appreciated in value since they were married. That’s because an efficient way to deal with complex marital property where the parties are unable to agree on the value is to sell it and split the profit. An experienced accountant should be able to spot potential tax trouble and advise ways to mitigate negative impacts in the year after the divorce.
- Greater need for an experienced divorce lawyer: This will not be a simple, cut-and-dried case, so it is imperative that each spouse choose an attorney who has handled high net worth divorces before. The attorney must be highly organized, pay close attention to detail, and know financial experts and others who can handle property valuation and other needs.
With a combined 30 years in family law, the attorneys at Jones Family Law Group, LLC, will provide the legal guidance you need. Check out our website for more information, and be sure to follow us on social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and LinkedIn. Share our articles with others! For questions or to schedule a confidential consultation, call 314-449-8830.