Divorce is an emotionally challenging and legally complicated endeavor. If your divorce, however, involves high assets, you can expect it to be more so. If you are facing a divorce involving high net worth, it’s time to consult with an experienced New Jersey high net worth lawyer.
The division of marital property is one of the divorce terms (in addition to child custody arrangements) that tend to stir up the most contentiousness and controversy, and if your assets are considerable, the controversy is likely to be dialed up a notch or two. In New Jersey, that property that you acquire over the course of your marriage is considered marital property. It makes no difference who made the purchase, signed for it, or uses the asset in question; if it came to you while you were married, it is very likely marital property. The two notable exceptions include:
- An inheritance made in the name of one spouse only
- A gift in the name of one spouse only
While the assets that you bring into your marriage with you – and that you don’t allow to become entangled with your marital property – will remain your separate property, marriage tends to ensure that keeping separate property separate is not an easy task (without a prenuptial agreement to begin with). Additionally, even if you do manage to keep your separate property separate, any increase in its value will likely be classified as marital property. Consider the following:
- If you bring a business into your marriage and keep it separate throughout, the increase in its value over the years is marital property.
- While the retirement accounts that you bring into your marriage with you may be separate property, their jump in value over the course of your marriage amounts to marital property.
- The same applies to any real estate that you own separately.
If you are a business owner, protecting your businesses is very likely paramount, and this can seriously complicate the division of marital property because a business that’s been divided is very unlikely to retain its full value, and finding a way around such a division can prove challenging. The division of Marital property in New Jersey must be an equitable distribution between both spouses, and this means fairly – when you take all the relevant factors into consideration.
If you are moving forward toward divorce, preserving your wealth within the confines of the law is obviously key, but this is a challenging goal that requires careful attention throughout the legal process. Keep all of the following points in mind:
- In order to protect your wealth, it is critical that you are well acquainted with your overall assets and debts. This requires gathering, compiling, and understanding all relevant financial documentation.
- Part of protecting your wealth is being well attuned to the tax implications associated with the division of your marital property.
- Another important aspect of protecting your personal wealth in divorce is protecting your separate assets, which involves documenting and demonstrating their separate nature.
If yours is a high net worth divorce, you need the professional legal guidance of a dedicated high asset divorce attorney with extensive experience successfully guiding cases like yours toward favorable resolutions. While high net worth divorces share many similarities, no two divorces are ever alike, and your high net worth divorce attorney will help you strategize the negotiations that address your unique circumstances and that are poised to help you protect your wealth moving forward. Often, this involves determining your divorce priorities, which translates to determining where you are willing to make concessions and where you are less motivated to do so.
A high asset divorce – like the name implies – is a divorce that involves considerable assets. High assets almost universally mean complicated assets, which means that you can expect your high-asset divorce to be especially challenging in terms of the negotiation process. High asset divorces often involve complications like the following:
- Business ownership
- Complicated financials overall
- Intertwined financials that are difficult to separate and value
- The intermingling of marital and separate property
One common aspect of high asset divorce, however, is that a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement is more likely to be involved, and this can help smooth the divorce process. A trickier element that is common to high net worth divorces is that alimony is more likely to play a role. Because alimony is intended to help balance a post-divorce financial discrepancy, high assets often tip the scale toward this form of spousal support. Child support is also far more likely to evolve into a roadblock in a high asset divorce.
A critical component of protecting your assets in a New Jersey divorce is identifying your overall assets in their entirety and then assigning value, which can prove to be one of the most difficult aspects of the equitable distribution of your marital property. Many people fail to recognize how complicated reaching a consensus regarding the value of marital assets can be, and the more valuable those assets, the more variance in assigned value there is likely to be. There is also the personal investment that each person in the marriage attaches to the asset in question, and the more personal investment involved, the more difficult negotiating a fair resolution can be.
The NJ divorce process is long and complicated, and once you throw high assets into the mix, it is that much more so, which makes having professional legal advice in your corner essential. Ultimately, dividing out your marital property from your separate property and negotiating an equitable distribution that takes all the relevant factors into careful consideration is key.
The trusted New Jersey high net worth divorce lawyers at Villani & DeLuca, P.C., have extensive experience guiding high asset divorces like yours toward beneficial resolutions that support our clients’ financial rights. Your case is important, and our impressive experience leaves us well prepared to help – so please don’t wait to reach out and contact or call us at 732-709-7757 to schedule your free legal consultation today.