Why Is High Net Worth Divorce So Much More Complicated?
You and your spouse took a vow to stay together for richer or for poorer, but if that doesn’t work out, then getting divorced when you are poor is noticeably easier than getting divorced when you are rich. All the comforts that you enjoyed during your marriage become an albatross around your neck when you have to share them with your ex-spouse. Divorce is painful at any income bracket, and divorce never made anyone wealthier, at least in the short-term; if you divorced a shopaholic, it will take several years before your frugal ways start to bear fruit. In general, though, the more marital property you own, the more time and effort it takes to divide it. Likewise, when power couples break up, one of them often ends up paying alimony, unless they had a prenuptial agreement that prohibits this. A Birmingham divorce lawyer can help wealthy couples disentangle their finances.
More Money, More Creditworthiness, More Debts
When the court dissolves a marriage, it must divide all marital property and all marital debts that belonged to the couple. Unless you have a prenup, then almost all income and assets that came into your possession during your marriage are marital, no matter which spouse’s name is on the pay stub or the title to the property. The same applies to marital debts; they are marital if they originated during the marriage, regardless of which spouse signed on the dotted line. High net worth couples tend to owe marital debts that would cause the 99 percent to gasp; the more money you have, the more lenders are willing to let you borrow.
More Money, More Deception, More Investigation
Not only do high net worth couples own more valuable assets, but they tend to own assets where there is more room for disagreement about their value. You might need to summon expert witnesses to resolve disagreements about the value of your business interests or your stock market investments, especially since the value of these assets can change quickly. Likewise, if one spouse has been out of the workforce and will need to return to work after the divorce, a vocational expert may testify about how much this spouse can expect to earn in the years following the divorce.
Sometimes wealthy people in unhappy marriages try to conceal marital assets from each other or sell marital property at a loss in order to reduce the amount of alimony that the court will order them to pay. The court regards this as marital misconduct and will compensate the spouse who suffered financial losses as a result of the other spouse’s deception. You may need to hire a private investigator or other forensic expert to find out the truth.
Contact Peeples Law About High Net Worth Divorce
A Birmingham family law attorney can help you finalize your divorce in a timely fashion, even if the value of your marital property is considerable. Contact Peeples Law today to schedule a consultation.