High-asset divorces involve individuals who have significant valuable property to divide. Wealthy spouses rarely want to let the court decide how to divide their assets, so it is best to discuss your legal options with a professional who has experience with high net-worth divorces. Let a Buckhead high-asset divorce lawyer at our firm help you organize and divide your properties.
When people get married, one spouse may have acquired significantly more assets than the other prior to the marriage. Signing prenuptial agreement allows a couple to organize their assets prior to marriage and address division standards in the event of a future divorce. Pre-marital contracts can also help both parties avoid the high costs of divorce litigation.
The court is going to look at equity in the marital home, meaning the value of their residence minus the debt owed on it. In fact, all real property will have to be properly valued. Once those numbers have been ascertained, it will be included in the total asset calculation.
A lot of issues in local high net-worth divorce cases are more complicated, not necessarily because of the high net-worth but rather the nature of the assets. For example, if you have a company that has a lot of value, but you don’t actually hold any of that liquidity, you may or may not consider it high net-worth, but it will still be litigated as a high-asset divorce in Buckhead.
Wealthy parties to a divorce will be concerned about nuanced issues, like tax liability, the opportunity cost of selling, and accounting. High net-worth spouses often have many different accounts, more assets, and more real property, whereas lower asset cases have a lower value and fewer items to distribute.
The Judge must also consider the net-worth of the parties to divide certain assets. For example, if one party has an especially complicated asset like a restricted stock, they’re going to want that to go to the wealthier party. There may also be investment accounts or investment agreements that sometimes need or require a draw, and the lesser earning partner may not have the liquidity necessary to meet that draw.
International accounts can be hard to access online, meaning couples are not always able to get a value for them. Another complicating factor is if the foreign government will honor an order that is not from their country. It is therefore common for divorcing parties to agree to keep their foreign assets if they each have them. However, that does not mean that the asset is not considered or equalized elsewhere.
The greater challenge is going to be international real property. The parties will have to domesticate the Georgia order in the country where the property is, which can be difficult.
Generally, mediation is the best way to settle high-asset divorce cases in Buckhead because it’s much less expensive than arbitration or a final hearing, and parties can negotiate that the assets go to the party who they best fit. Arbitration is more common in high net-worth divorces because the parties can get someone who is more familiar with business or other types of nuanced holdings like mutual funds. Litigation would require the parties to argue over spousal support, child custody, and support, both on a temporary and final basis in front of a court.