High Asset Divorce
In any divorce, equitable division of the couple’s assets takes considerable effort on the part of the court. Often, this is the longest part of the settlement to reach because there are so many variables involved, such as the tax implications for each asset, each partner’s income, and how to appropriately divide the couple’s assets with consideration to other aspects of their divorce settlement, such as their child custody agreement.
For couples with significant assets, the equitable division of the assets can be especially complicated. In a high asset divorce, there are often more “moving parts” to consider than there are in divorces between middle and lower class couples.
Issues to Consider in a High Asset Divorce
With a high asset divorce, one or more of the following issues come into play:
- Dividing a real estate portfolio, rather than dividing one marital home;
- Dividing a substantial investment portfolio, which could include businesses and other unique investments alongside or even instead of traditional investments like stocks and bonds;
- Multiple retirement accounts;
- Tangible assets, such as a collection of valuable art, jewelry, or vehicles;
- Unique assets, such as domestic animals;
- Businesses and professional partnerships; and
- Money in trusts and other special accounts.
In any divorce, only marital property is subject to division. Marital property is the assets accrued during the couple’s marriage with the exception of assets obtained through gifts and inheritance. In some cases, marital property is commingled property, or property that one party owned before the marriage that became more valuable due to the couple’s combined efforts during their marriage. With commingled property, an appropriate value for the asset’s growth must be determined so it can be divided.
The court must consider assets’ fluctuating values and projected future values when determining a fair settlement. With investments and businesses, this is not always simple. Other issues to consider are each partner’s current and future income and the tax burden of each asset.
Preparing for your High Asset Divorce
Before you begin the divorce process, have a comprehensive inventory of all of your marital assets. A forensic accountant can help you develop this inventory. If you suspect your spouse is hiding assets, talk to your lawyer about your concern. He or she can help you uncover any assets your spouse is hiding or attempting to hide to ensure that you receive a fair share of your marital assets.
Work with an Experienced Grand Rapids Divorce Attorney
No matter what your income bracket or which types of assets you have, your divorce is unique. Give yourself the best chance possible of reaching your divorce goals by working with a divorce attorney who has experience with the specific issues you are facing, whether they are related to your assets or involve another complication, like your immigration status. To learn more about navigating a high asset divorce in Michigan, set up your initial legal consultation with a member of Van Den Heuvel Law Office today.