How is High Asset Divorce Different? / by Cassandra Hearn

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Every family is different, and so every divorce is different.  Each family has its own patterns and plans for the future that need to be carefully reviewed and analyzed before setting a strategy for a divorce case.  Whether the parties have children, how long the parties have been married, the income potential of both parties, and a large variety of other factors all play in to how a divorce will be handled.  In the case of a divorce involving high assets, there are definite differences and special considerations. 

The first way it is often different is that high-asset divorces will often require valuation experts.  Many times the large amount of assets involved in a high asset divorces are not simply cash in the bank.  Instead, they may be stock options, equity positions, or other holdings that are difficult for a lay person to place a value on.  In such a case, it will be essential to hire an expert to put an accurate value on these assets in order for them to be divided in the divorce.

Types of assets may also be an important issue here.  Do the parties have a large collection of classic cars?  Rare art?  Antique furniture?  These assets can all be easily divided in half or sold in order to divide the value.  However, there are other assets such as life insurance that may have accumulated substantial dollar value.  In a divorce that is not high asset, the life insurance typically has very little dollar value, which is frequently not the same in a high asset divorce situation.  In other words, the high asset divorce is different because there are a large variety of types of assets that will have to be identified and divided.

Lifestyle of the parties during the marriage also merits attention.  If the parties maintain a particular lifestyle, it may be that an analysis needs to be performed of exactly what type of expenses the parties have traditionally had.  Such an analysis will be important in determining whether spousal support is appropriate and the amount, if any, to be paid. 

Finally, privacy can be of the utmost importance in a high asset divorce.  Although no divorce party wants their divorce case put on display, privacy can be even more important where high assets are involved, either because of the identity of the divorcing parties or simply to maintain security by not broadcasting the type and location of assets owned by the parties.

We have experience in helping our clients with the issues unique to a high asset divorce.  We look forward to talking with you about your case and how to protect yourself and your future. Call us today at 619-800-0384 for a consultation.