Divorce can be a difficult process for anyone but it can be particularly difficult for couples who have a high net worth. These couples have often worked hard and spent many years delaying spending money on things they want. It may be that both couples are professionals or it may be one spouse stayed at home and raised the children forgoing a career and the other spouse worked. In either case, these couples often have complicated investments and assets that will require some skill to divide fairly.
If you are about to file for divorce or your spouse has filed for a divorce you will want to retain an attorney as quickly as possible to help you navigate through the issues that affect high net worth couples. For example, have you considered how to value pensions, 401k accounts, IRA accounts, stocks and bonds, or trust accounts? Many people mistakenly believe that these assets cannot or will not be considered during a divorce. However, income, trust, retirement accounts, and property can all be divided in a divorce proceeding depending on whether they were acquired during the marriage and whether they have been commingled with spousal accounts or assets.
Child support is also not determined by normal state guidelines for couples with incomes over $25,000 per month. In these situations, private school tuition and special support issues must be taken into account. In many cases these couples also own a business. Dividing a business can be particularly tricky, because of issues with valuation. Depending on the type and size of the business your attorney may consult with a CPA or other professional to offer an opinion on the value of the business. Division of assets can also affect any claims for alimony and the right for one spouse to claim a right to draw off of the other spouse’s social security later in life.