Birmingham High-Asset Divorce Lawyer
Any contested divorce includes a number of issues to resolve, but when the parties earn high incomes or have accumulated expensive assets, issues of property division and alimony tend to rise to the forefront. With more at stake, it is more important to retain a well-qualified divorce lawyer experienced in high-asset divorce cases. Birmingham family law attorney Candi Peeples has been involved in structuring high-assets settlements since she was in law school 20 years ago clerking for a leading attorney in the field.
It can be especially stressful to keep up with the demands of a high-pressure job while also dealing with a complicated divorce. Let attorney Candi Peeples take on the task of ensuring that you are protected and that the right decisions are made regarding property division and alimony issues in your high-asset divorce case. For help with a high-asset divorce in Jefferson or Shelby County, contact Peeples Law to share your concerns with an experienced and successful Birmingham high-asset divorce lawyer.
What Makes a Divorce “High-Asset”?
There is no strict definition of a high-asset divorce; instead, the term refers to divorce cases with above-average marital or separate property, including both assets and debts. One or both spouses may be working professionals or business owners, or it may simply be that the couple accumulated a large amount of wealth over a long-term marriage. Whatever the case, high-asset divorces frequently come with complicated assets and a great deal at stake. Examples of complex property issues in a high-asset divorce include:
- Family trusts
- Family-owned businesses
- Separately-owned businesses
- Appreciation of separate property
- Investment property and other real estate
- Securities and other financial instruments
- Jewelry, art and other personal property
- High-dollar whole life insurance policies
- Apportionment of retirement accounts and deferred compensation plans, including those requiring the drafting of a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO) to divide
- Discovering undisclosed or hidden assets
- Tax implications of high-asset property division
What Happens to a Business in a Divorce?
Many times, the future of a business partially or wholly owned by one spouse or jointly owned by both spouses is predetermined by a prenuptial agreement, postnuptial agreement, or legal instruments such as buy-sell agreements. Otherwise, the parties or the courts have many ways to deal with a business interest or investment property. For instance, the parties could continue to own or operate the business jointly after the divorce, or one party could buy out the other party’s share with cash or property in-kind. The business could also be sold and the proceeds divided as part of the equitable distribution of marital property.
Regardless of what is to become of the business, valuing the business accurately is an essential step in the property division. Business valuations are typically performed under one of three methods: the income approach, the market approach, or the asset approach. The income valuation method is the most popular, comparing current profitability with projected growth and taking into account goodwill along with accounts receivable and business debt. The asset method involves subtracting liabilities from assets, while the market approach involves looking at recent sales of comparable businesses in the area to approximate the target business’ current market value.
Different business valuation methods are more or less appropriate for different types of businesses. Peeples Law can analyze the business at hand and argue for the appropriate method of business valuation that will best serve the needs of the parties in securing an equitable division of property in the divorce.
Get Help With High-Asset Divorce Issues in Birmingham
With decades of experience handling high-asset divorce cases in Jefferson and Shelby counties, Birmingham family law attorney Candi Peeples knows the right documents to request in the discovery phase of divorce litigation. She knows what to look for and how to analyze business records, tax receipts, financial instruments and other relevant documents. In addition, Peeples Law works with a team of professional appraisers, actuaries, forensic accountants, business valuation experts, tax professionals and others as needed.
For advice and representation in a high-asset divorce in Jefferson or Shelby County, contact Peeples Law in Birmingham at 205-403-5577. We approach high-asset divorce matters with sensitivity and discretion, but above all with a dogged determination to serve our clients’ needs.