Unique Challenges in the High-Asset Divorce

Accounting for All Marital Assets

Hidden assets in a high-asset divorce are also not an uncommon occurrence. Spouses may stash assets overseas to keep them hidden or otherwise out of reach of their spouses in the event of a divorce or transfer property into other people’s names, such as parents or other family members. In some cases, it may be necessary to hire experts in your divorce, such as investigators or forensic accountants, to trace assets and income.

Similarly, spouses may overstate debt in an attempt to devalue assets or reduce marital settlement amounts. Documenting all debts owed by either spouse or any business is critical to making the correct property settlement in a high-asset divorce.

Obtaining Valuations of Marital Assets

The value of assets may change over time, and these assets tend to be more significant in a high-asset divorce than in a regular divorce. To properly divide these assets in a divorce, you first must know how much each asset is worth. You may need to employ professionals to place a proper value on items. For instance, an appraiser may be required to place a definite value on antiques or artwork. Accountants or business professionals may be able to help value businesses owned and operated by either or both spouses. Real estate professionals can assist in appraising real estate to place market values on homes and other property owned by the parties.

Having proper valuation of all assets is essential to ensure that each spouse gets a fair share in the divorce, especially for non-liquid assets such as real estate and businesses. If one spouse wishes to continue operating a business or keep the marital residence, that spouse may have to buy out the other spouse’s share. Spouses also must consider the debt attached to non-liquid assets, such as mortgage loans, lines of credit, and business loans, all of which can affect the property division.

Understanding the Tax Implications of Divorce

In high-asset divorces, tax implications tend to be more consequential than in divorces in which the parties do not own many assets. For instance, married couples at higher asset and income levels are more likely to owe more federal and state taxes than receive a refund. As a result, the decision for couples to file joint or separate income tax returns during a divorce can be a significant one. Although a joint filing is generally more advantageous, it is worth checking with an accountant to make sure.

Other tax implications may occur if non-liquid assets must be sold and divided in a divorce. For instance, gains on the sale of a marital residence can result in a higher tax bill. Likewise, transfer of retirement account assets can trigger tax consequences if the transactions are not handled properly.

Contact LBE Law Firm to Explore Your Options Today

The attorneys and staff at LBE Law Firm can provide you with individualized legal representation in various legal matters, including divorce. We will thoroughly assess your situation and determine the best strategy for your case. LBE Law Firm also handles other legal matters, including immigration law, bankruptcy law, contracts, and wills and estates. You can call us today at 1-424-LBE-LAW4 (1-424-523-5294) (call, text, or WhatsApp) or contact us via email at info@lbelawfirm.com. We look forward to hearing from you and showing you how we can help with your legal matter.

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