18 Jun 2014
When people with high-net worth decide to get divorced, complicated issues related to the division of property often come into play. Unfortunately, the division of assets tends to bring out the worst in some people, and attempts to come to an amicable agreement often break down. When this occurs, the parties rely on the judgment of the court to distribute in an equitable manner based on the circumstances and in compliance with the applicable law. Sometimes, an unscrupulous party to a divorce will attempt to hide assets from the other spouse or the court in an attempt to keep them from being part of any settlement agreement or court-ordered division of property. With so much on the line, it is important that anyone who suspects their spouse of hiding assets discuss their situation with an experienced Virginia High Asset divorce lawyer as soon as possible. The assistance of an attorney can often uncover the existence of hidden assets, and ensure that you receive your fair share of the marital property.
Uncovering Hidden Assets
High-net worth individuals often have sophisticated asset management structures designed to protect their assets and minimize their tax liabilities. These could include trusts, family owned businesses, off-shore accounts, or deferred compensation accounts. Not only does the existence of these entities and legal relationships greatly complicate the division of assets, but it also provides the parties with to a divorce an opportunity to obfuscate or hide assets. As a result, it is extremely important for high-net worth individuals who are going through a divorce to retain an attorney who not only understands family law, but also understands the sophisticated financial management techniques that high asset individuals employ to manage those assets.
A skilled attorney will use the discovery process in order to determine whether your spouse is attempting to conceal assets. Discovery involves a formal legal process through which the parties to litigation can request information relevant to the issues being litigated. Some of the methods they may employ include:
- Demanding the inspection physical assets
- Compelling the production of documents
In addition, if you have wealth and are planning to marry, you should always contact a skilled family law attorney to discuss a premarital agreement in order to potentially avoid any property division issues in the case of divorce.
Contact a Virginia Divorce Attorney for help
No matter how much property you may have, you should always have an experienced family lawyer on your side. If you are facing divorce, call the Law office of Raymond B. Benzinger today.
Property division is always a major factor in divorces. For some couples, this determination is relatively simple, as they may not have many assets or even own a house together. However, for couples with a high net worth, property division may be exponentially more complex. Because there is so much on the line, it is especially important that you consult with an experienced attorney if you are considering divorce and you have significant assets.
Some assets that may be at issue in a high net worth divorce include:
- Real property, including the primary residence, real estate properties, and vacation homes.
- Personal property, such as motor vehicles, recreational vehicles, jewelry, art collections, antiques, furniture, and more.
- Bank accounts
- Business entities
- Stocks or corporate stock options
- Investments, which may be interstate or international
- Retirement accounts
In order to ensure an equitable division of the above assets, a couple must first determine the value of all of those assets. This may be quite the endeavor, as a couple may have property, investments, and other assets all over the world. Furthermore, valuation of assets may be difficult because one spouse may attempt to hide certain assets, may have overseas accounts, or may have concealed certain sources of income from tax returns. For these reasons, valuation in high net worth divorces often requires the assistance of financial experts. An experienced high asset divorce attorney knows which experts are reliable and cost effective in order to ensure you receive a fair division of property.
Additionally, property division can be directly related to spousal support payments for the spouse who has less earning power. An experienced Virginia divorce lawyer can help you decide whether it is in your best interest to receive higher alimony payments and less property, or vice versa. An attorney can help to make sure your current high standard of living is preserved following a divorce.
Many couples with a high net worth also do not want details of their financial matters exposed to the public. The Law Offices of Raymond B. Benzinger will handle your high assets divorce with discretion and respect for your privacy. If you are facing a high net worth divorce, call (703) 312-0410 to schedule a consultation with Raymond Benzinger today.