Love is amazing until it’s not. In the U.S., the divorce rate is around 50%.
Some divorces are more complicated than others. This is especially true when there is more at stake financially.
In a high-asset divorce, there may be multiple properties, extensive savings, businesses, trusts, investments, and other assets at stake. When children are involved, the process can become even more overwhelming and contentious.
If you’re facing a high-asset divorce in Michigan, a great first step is to consult a high-asset divorce attorney. Our Bloomfield Hills attorneys can help!
Here’s your guide to navigating a high-asset divorce.
Challenges of a High-Asset Divorce
The various issues involved in a high-asset divorce include:
- Finding hidden assets
- Determining adequate child support
- Determining alimony amount
- Evaluating estate worth
- Protecting the reputation of businesses
- Protecting a high-profile client’s reputation
- Determining debt responsibility
The challenges of a high-asset divorce are similar to other divorces. Assets and debts must be divided, and spousal support must be determined. Child custody, visitation, and child support are other critical considerations.
What makes a high asset divorce more challenging is that the division of property and assets takes longer and is more complicated in comparison to a typical divorce. All of these complications can lead to more time in court, more legal fees, and higher court costs.
Typical Asset Considerations
In a high-asset divorce, one or both spouses may have a combination of assets. Some typical considerations include:
- Large savings
- Multiple businesses
- Multiple properties
- Retirement accounts
- Various investments
- High-value properties such as cars, art, jewelry, and antiques
A large portion of assets may revolve around a couple’s businesses. Often, there’s much more than their personal finances at stake.
Outside business partners may also be affected and may have an interest in the divorce outcome. Couples with many assets often choose to have a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
This can make the division of property easier. When couples do not have these agreements in place, all marital assets must be listed, valued, and split. The court will determine the outcome and divide assets based on what’s equitable.
In a high-asset divorce, there are special considerations. In a contentious divorce, there are many points of contention you must address.
During a divorce, one or more parties may try to hide personal assets, so they can avoid including them in the final division. In a high asset divorce, there is often a need to investigate and look for hidden assets.
Attempting to hide assets can result in perjury charges and further legal problems.
Calculation of Assets
High net-worth individuals often have valuable possessions, including artwork, jewelry, high-end automobiles, antiques, and more. It’s important to find someone who’s qualified to assess the valuation of these items.
When a couple has complex investments, getting a true valuation is difficult. Often, factors such as stock voting rights must be ironed out.
Disputes over assets can lead to contention between couples who must hire financial experts with differing opinions on asset values.
Spousal and Child Support
Determining spousal and child support is an important part of the divorce process. These are highly emotional issues.
When one spouse makes much more money than the other, a divorce can dramatically affect the lower-earning partner’s standard of living. A judge may award spousal support until that partner can support themselves.
Child support is a similar issue. Determining the correct financial worth of a spouse is a major factor in child support rulings.
Michigan Laws and High Asset Divorce
High-asset divorces are complex and time-consuming. It’s common for these divorces to become contested, which can make them unpleasant experiences to go through.
Understanding Michigan’s laws with regard to high asset divorces can help you make sense of the process and navigate this difficult journey. Unlike many states, Michigan is an equitable distribution state.
This means the courts will divide assets according to what they believe is fair. Assets are not always divided with a 50/50 distribution like in many other states.
To determine child custody, the judge will consider which parent has custody. This may influence who is able to remain in the marital home and what financial considerations should be attached.
What is equitable is up to the interpretation of the court. If you’re facing a high asset divorce, it’s critical to have expert legal representation to protect yourself and your assets.
Marital Property or Separate Property
In Michigan, the property you acquire during the marriage is “marital property.” This may include real estate, investments, a pension plan, 401K, and any savings.
Inherited property is the only exception. However, if you inherit money and deposit it into a joint account with your spouse, it becomes marital property.
Money or property you inherit and keep in your name is considered separate property. A judge will consider a marital property only when dividing your assets. Assets solely in your name are not included in the asset division process.
Some marital property division factors include:
- Age of spouses
- Length of marriage
- Spouse’s financial needs and ability to work
- Spouse’s potential for earning
- Spousal conduct
- Children’s ages
- Who retains the marital home
With so much at stake, enlisting the help of a qualified divorce lawyer is in your best interests. Once these matters are settled and your divorce is finalized, you can move on to a happier future.
The Right Attorney for Your High Asset Divorce
Although divorce is never a pleasant experience, it’s sometimes the only option. When there are sizable assets involved, the situation becomes much more complicated.
In a high-asset divorce, both parties have much to lose if things don’t go their way. To protect your best interests, it’s important to have a high-asset divorce attorney by your side.
Cronin Law Firm handles all types of Michigan divorce cases, including high-asset divorce. Our experienced divorce attorneys can handle any challenge that arises throughout the divorce process.
If you’re faced with the challenge of a high-asset divorce, we know how challenging this time can be. Let us help you protect your rights, your wishes, and your family during this difficult time.
Contact Cronin Law Firm today for a complimentary consultation.