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Protecting Your Financial Interests in a Divorce

A high net worth divorce involves substantial marital assets, which may consist of complex holdings, such as business ownership or interests, venture capital investments, or intellectual property. These are high-stakes cases in which both parties have a great deal to lose. Division of assets can lower the value of the assets, as well as the net worth of the parties. In a high net worth divorce, it is essential to have skilled legal representation to protect your interests.

What Types of Assets Are Considered for Division in a High Net Worth Divorce?

Under Indiana’s marital pot rule, all marital property is equally divided between divorcing spouses, unless one party can show valid reasons why it should not be so. Marital property includes the property of either spouse acquired before the marriage, during the marriage before final separation, or by the joint effort of both spouses. Assets considered for division in a high net worth divorce tend to be more complex. Examples of such assets include:

  • Stock options
  • Trusts
  • Intellectual property
  • Fine art
  • Precious metals
  • Business interests
  • Life insurance
  • Investment accounts
  • Automotive collections
  • Large inheritances
  • Private and/or commercial properties

What Are the Challenges of Dividing Assets in a High Net Worth Divorce?

Dividing assets can be more challenging in a high net worth divorce. Challenges include identification and valuation of significant assets and minimizing the tax consequences of property division. Divorcing spouses will need to determine:

  • Valuation of physical assets, such as antiques, artwork, jewelry, real estate, and collections
  • Valuation of investment and retirement accounts
  • Which assets will be distributed to which spouse
  • Ownership and control of businesses
  • How to divide debts and liabilities

What Are the Challenges Related to Spousal Maintenance and Child Support?

When one spouse earns significantly more than the other, an award of spousal maintenance is common. The court may award rehabilitative spousal maintenance, designed to enable a spouse to become self-supporting, to the lower-earning spouse for a period of up to three years. Child support may be calculated differently in a high net worth divorce if the income of the parties exceeds the guideline schedule in the child support rules. A different formula is used to compute child support for high income earners.

What Are the Challenges of Divorce When a Couple Owns a Business?

The general rule in Indiana is that all assets owned by either spouse, including a business, are subject to division in a divorce. A business built on the abilities, reputation, or direct involvement of one spouse may not retain the same value if part of the business is transferred to the other spouse in a divorce. Disputes over ownership and control of a business can significantly delay divorce proceedings. A spouse who wants to secure sole ownership and control of a business after a divorce may have to give up other assets in negotiations.

How Should You Prepare for a High Net Worth Divorce?

To prepare for a high net worth divorce, it is best to keep your emotions in check while you get your affairs in order. Organize important financial documents in an easily accessible manner. Begin preparing settlement documents and parenting plans. Have your assets valued by professionals. Avoid social media and consult with an experienced Carmel high net worth divorce attorney as soon as possible.

At Emerson Divorce and Accident Injury Attorneys, L.L.C., we are straight shooters who do not hold back but will fight hard for the best outcome. Our husband and wife team of Indiana divorce lawyers takes an aggressive and progressive approach, with the goal of protecting your interests while helping you achieve your objectives. If you are facing the challenges of a high net worth divorce, contact us at (317) 969-8000.

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