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What do I Need to Know About a High Net Worth Divorce?

If you are getting a divorce, you most likely have a lot on your mind. Divorce is usually something no spouse ever dreams of until it comes time. However, if you or your spouse is a high net worth individual, all the aspects of a regular divorce are now compounded by additional financial matters, making the process far more involved. If you are ready for a divorce, here are some of the questions you may have:

How do I know if I qualify for a high net worth divorce?

In order to qualify for a high net worth divorce, either you or your spouse must be worth $1 million or more. If this is the case, then you must hire an experienced attorney as soon as you can. You need to ensure you have someone on your side who knows the ins and outs of the divorce process who will fight for the assets of which you are entitled.

What assets will be considered in a high net worth divorce?

On top of the usual assets, such as W-2’s and pay stubs, and on top of other usual divorce matters, such as spousal support and child custody, you will have additional financial assets to parse out. Some of the additional financial assets that may come into question are:

  • Real estate and property holdings: These include your primary residence, timeshares, commercial properties, income-generating properties, vacation homes, and other properties you may have. However, you should keep in mind that properties acquired prior to the marriage by either party may be excluded from the division of assets process if they are considered “separate,” as opposed to “marital” property.
  • Retirement accounts, pensions, benefits, and 401(k)’s: These assets are subject to equitable distribution upon divorce because they are considered shared assets during the marriage.
  • Shared partnerships, businesses, or business investments: It may prove challenging to reach a fair and equitable agreement regarding your business assets and interests if you or your spouse are a business owner or have entered into a business together. This is why you need to hire a knowledgable attorney to maximize your chances of getting the results you want.

How may I protect my assets in a high net worth divorce?

While all these things may be up for grabs if you enter the litigation process, you should not panic yet. You may protect your assets from unfair distribution. If you or your spouse file a prenuptial agreement before you are married, then you may protect your hard-earned assets, as well as your family’s inheritance. However, if you are already married, it is still not too late. You may file a postnuptial agreement, which essentially functions the same way as a prenuptial agreement. The only significant difference is that a postnuptial agreement is drafted after you are already married. 

Contact our New Jersey firm

You should not have to go through the high net worth divorce process alone. If you or a family member is seeking representation for a high net worth divorce case, contact Townsend, Tomaio & Newmark LLC., today.