Lawyers for High Asset Divorce
Divorce can be messy, complicated, and emotionally wrenching. High asset divorce takes all those challenges and magnifies them. With more at stake than in a conventional divorce, both sides of a high net worth Virginia divorce need astute legal representation and a bravery to face tough decisions.
Property Settlement Agreement
The most important word in the phrase “Property Settlement Agreement,” for high asset couples especially, is “Agreement.” You can both wrap yourselves in lawyers and righteous indignation, but the divorce will stall unless you reach an agreement.
This is where experienced attorneys can help. Property settlement with high net worth individuals is complicated. It takes time to gather all the information, to track down all accounts, statements, and positions. You may need the services of:
- Tax attorneys
- Forensic accountants
- Private investigators
- Real estate attorneys
You need a team to not only protect your assets, but to construct a workable, appealing property settlement offer that your wife can agree to, with advice from her attorneys. This means being completely open about all assets, and doing nothing to pressure her into signing an agreement.
Virginia and Property
If your divorce is filed in Virginia, it is within Virginia’s jurisdiction and laws, no matter where your real estate holdings and other property may reside. From vacation homes to offshore investments, property is divided according to Virginia’s laws.
This means you need a firm, clear accounting of what assets were each of yours before marriage, which assets and investments were made during the marriage (shared or marital property), and which are co-mingled (so-called hybrid property). She may have purchased a mountain cabin with inheritance before you two wed and bought a beachfront investment property in Virginia.
Suppose, using money from investments purchased before you married her, you took some dividends and paid for a rose garden and five-car garage for your home. You have co-mingled your separate property (your personal investments) with marital property (the marital home).
When property division is handled, your attorney must help untangle all the connections, all the ownership, and all the history of every asset you each owned and currently own.
With high net worth you often deal also with high liabilities. Business investments may require large loans. Auctions, estate sales and impulse purchases may leave you with significant debt.
The debt, like the assets, must be equitably divided. You both enjoyed a style and pace of life afforded by high net worth; you both bear responsibility for resolving the debts that life may have incurred.
A sharp family law attorney in Virginia can work with you to find the most reasonable solutions to paying for ongoing services through the separation and divorce, while also crafting a strategy to limit your exposure after the divorce is final.
One of the worst mistakes a Virginia man could make with a high asset divorce is to overlook the tax consequences of separating and divorcing. While Virginia’s tax laws are not unusually punishing to high net worth individuals, the time to know what the tax repercussions will be is not when you are ready to file your return.
A good divorce attorney may not know the nuances of every tax strategy, but can speak with confidence and understanding with your tax adviser, accountant, or financial consultant.
Make No Mistake
With high asset divorce, the stakes are high, too. Avoid making mistakes, either in an effort to minimize your wife’s gain or to preserve your entire estate. An experienced divorce attorney will steer you clear of these mistakes:
Hiding assets — Your wife’s attorneys and investigators will, inevitably, find them; a Virginia judge will not look kindly on such an amateur move
Ignoring the professionals — Listen primarily to your attorney, but also acknowledge the power of a team, including accountants, other legal experts, public relations managers (yes!), and your own lawyer’s private investigators
Going it alone — Most high net worth individuals are rightly suspicious of having everything done for them; many times they got to their place in life through their own initiative, but divorce in a Virginia courtroom is not a venue for the do-it-yourselfer; avoid losing your financial freedom and engage with a real Virginia divorce attorney
Ethical, Honest and Exact
If you agree with most legal experts that the smoothest path to a high asset divorce is to be ethical, honest, and exact, you will find even the thorniest problems become easier. In Virginia, both parties should know what the estate involves, its current value, and the best way to distribute it.
Work with a law firm that will treat your wife and you with the dignity, tact, and compassion your situation deserves. When you both agree to make the process as respectful and undramatic as possible, you will find that even the longest proceedings eventually lead to a pleasant, final decree.
At that time, when the judge declares you and she divorced, you and your now ex-wife can resume your lives. You will have the confidence that your law firm preserved your assets fairly, and your ex-wife will be confident that she will be financially secure in her future.
If you find yourself dealing with a divorce while enjoying the privileges of high net worth, please contact The Firm For Men at (757) 383-9204 or contact us online. We can protect your rights, your assets, and your serenity.