Complex, High Net Worth Divorce

Large houseOften, the most difficult and time-consuming part of a divorce proceeding is the divisions of marital debts and assets. When the marital estate is extensive, with multiple homes or properties, extensive investment portfolios, real estate investment properties, business interests and retirement funds, the process can be even more challenging.

Is There a Valid Prenuptial Agreement?

It’s not unusual, where one or both parties are bringing extensive assets into a marriage, for the parties to enter into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. The first determination, in such a situation, is whether the agreement is air-tight, or subject to challenge. If there is no prenuptial agreement, or the existing agreement can be shown to have been entered into under duress, undue influence or fraud, the next step will be to determine if you reside in a state with community property laws or with equitable distribution provisions.

It is important to understand that equitable distribution does not mean “equally.” Each state has its own set of factors that a court will consider when allocating the debts and assets of a marriage. Furthermore, even in an equitable distribution state, the court will be inclined to return any property owned before the marriage to the person who brought it into the marriage.

Another consideration in a high-net worth divorce is that some assets, such as a home, may be substantial in value, but not easily divided. Furthermore, courts prefer not to go through the complicated process of dividing up retirement assets or complex investment portfolios. As a result, with a complex marital estate, it’s extremely critical that you bring in the necessary experts to get a fair market appraisal of both the current and the projected fair market value of property. It may then be possible to negotiate a division of assets such that each party obtains a fair share of the estate.

In addition, the transfer of property necessary to equitably divide the marital estate may have wide-ranging tax consequences. Before you make any decisions, you want to have a clear understanding of the tax ramifications.

Contact Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P. A., Attorneys at Law

At Aronberg, Kouser, Snyder & Lindemann, P. A., we have more than 35 years of experience helping people in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. Contact us by e-mail or call our office at 856-429-1700. Your initial consultation is free.

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