Divorce is often a delicate and painful issue for all involved. If one or both parties in a divorce have a high net worth, dividing the marital estate can be even more complicated. It’s not uncommon for high net worth individuals to feel overwhelmed during the divorce process because there is so much at stake and emotions are running high.
High net worth divorce cases require more expertise than typical divorce cases because there may be an ownership interest in a business, an extensive investment portfolio, inheritances, or other complications. High net worth divorce attorneys must work closely with accountants, actuaries, business appraisers, and real estate appraisers to assess your case and provide an objective analysis.
Start with a Plan
It’s important to begin a high net worth divorce with a specific plan. First, gather all of the necessary accounting and business records to prepare a balance sheet of assets and debts. Your Columbus divorce attorney may bring in forensic accountants, business appraisers, and other experts to help during the planning stages.
Determine Marital vs. Separate Property
In Ohio, the property that you bring into the marriage is known as separate property. Marital property is property owned by both the husband and wife. Separate property doesn’t become marital property just because you get married. If separate property is not commingled during the marriage, it typically remains separate property.
If either party in a marriage assists in increasing the value of separate property during the marriage, the appreciation in value may be considered marital property. The premarital value of the separate party is not considered marital property, however. A high net worth divorce attorney in Columbus, Ohio can help you trace the life of complex assets throughout your marriage to determine what would be considered marital property and separate property.
Protect Your Business
If one or both parties in a divorce own a business, it’s important to accurately appraise and divide that business. Simply dividing a business in half is not considered equitable under Ohio law. An attorney would take the time to understand your business and then work with experts to accurately value it. The value of a business is tied to cash flow, receivables, and tax liabilities. Getting the help of a divorce attorney is critical to achieving equitable results when appraising and dividing a business.
Determine Spousal Support
Spousal support is a payment from one spouse to the other that is designed to prevent financial hardship following a divorce. It is typically paid on a monthly basis. Determining spousal support can be a particularly challenging issue for high net worth individuals. Each spouse may have the expectation to maintain the same quality of life during the separation and divorce process as in the marriage. The amount of spousal support that you must pay or are qualified to get is decided on a case-by-case basis. Factors that the court considers when awarding spousal support include the age, lifestyle, financial resources, and future earning potential of both parties.
In a high net worth divorce case, choosing the right Columbus high net worth divorce attorney is crucial. You need an attorney with the qualifications, experience, and resources necessary to handle the complexity of such a divorce. We have extensive experience in high net worth divorce cases. Our strong background in psychology and our in-depth understanding of how emotional issues affect divorce cases set us apart.