Divorces are rarely clear-cut or easy. If you and your spouse have significant or complicated assets between you, even an otherwise straightforward divorce can become complex.
The experienced, compassionate divorce attorneys at Kitchens New Cleghorn in Atlanta understand the challenges that can come along with a more complicated balance sheet. We are committed to helping protect our clients’ rights and interests by finding practical, creative solutions.
Challenges in Atlanta High Net-Worth Divorces
It seems like an obvious statement, but there’s more at stake when a couple with significant assets decides to split. Tensions and emotions both run high, which can lead to missteps that can have implications for both spouses, long after the divorce papers have been signed.
Some of the many challenges that can occur in high net worth divorce cases include:
Owning one or more businesses can complicate a divorce in a number of ways. First, it can be incredibly difficult to place a value on a business you or your spouse has built not only with seed capital, but with sweat equity. Even when a business is entirely in one spouse’s name, the other spouse has usually played a role in the business’ success over the years.
Real estate ownership
Whether you own a lake home, mountain cabin, farm, or rental property, real estate may be a major part of your overall portfolio – and an illiquid part of your overall holdings. Your high net worth divorce attorney can help you determine property values so decisions about dividing real property are made on the basis of complete information.
Other complex asset structures
When assets are held in trust, limited family partnerships, hedge funds, collectibles, or any other structure, it is important to work with an attorney who understands various forms of asset ownership so decisions about division and distribution can be made thoughtfully and deliberately.
Prenuptial or postnuptial agreement challenges
When a couple has significant assets between them, whether accumulated during the marriage or as the result of an inheritance or other windfall, issues and challenges related to prenuptial and postnuptial agreements can arise. Your divorce attorney can help resolve such issues.
When a marriage starts to break down, something called “marital waste” can occur. Marital waste refers to a situation where one spouse begins spending more money than usual, or trying to divert assets into a separate account in order to try to hide them. An experienced high net worth divorce attorney can help address marital waste to prevent unnecessary loss or illegal hiding of assets.
Potential alimony issues
When one spouse earns a higher income than the other, there may be a need for ongoing spousal support during and after the divorce. These alimony payments may come with tax implications, so it is important to consider alimony within the larger context of the divorce, along with decisions related to asset and liability divisions.
Avoiding the desire to agree to anything, just to move forward
Any time a marriage ends, it is normal to feel hurt, angry, and sad. It can be difficult to even think about having to fight your soon-to-be-ex spouse in a divorce proceeding; some spouses make the mistake of agreeing to terms that are not in their best interest, just to be able to move on with their lives.
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In the context of a high net worth divorce, the consequences of making this choice can be significant. You owe it to yourself to stand up for what’s right. It may not be easy, but when you have a dedicated, knowledgeable high net worth divorce attorney on your side, your interests will be better protected.
Surround Yourself with the Right Professionals
Hiring an experienced family law attorney who understands high net worth divorce issues is a critical first step, but you may need to line your corner with a team of professionals. Don’t worry – your divorce attorney will help you with this.
High net worth divorces often require some, or all, of the following parties:
Typical Professionals for Atlanta High Net-Worth Divorces
- Valuation specialist. If you or your spouse own a business (either individually or in both of your names), the business assets might be subject to division. This means you’ll need to have a good idea what it is worth; something that is not always readily apparent with smaller, family-owned businesses. Similarly, you may need to engage real estate professionals like appraisers who can put a value on each piece of property you own. A valuation specialist can help determine the value of businesses and real property, including business goodwill, so you can move forward confidently.
- Forensic accountant. Depending on the makeup of your assets and liabilities, and how assets are titled, it may be necessary to try to trace the source funding. Issues can also arise in high net worth divorces when one spouse tries to hide or shelter assets so they are not readily identifiable (and dividable) after a divorce. A forensic accountant can help by ensuring assets are identified and considered as your divorce proceedings move forward.
- Tax professionals. High net worth divorces can result in significant tax consequences for one or both spouses when the dust settles and assets have been divided. Your divorce attorney can work with your tax professional to help mitigate tax liability.
- Financial professionals. Along with your tax professional, your financial advisor will play a key role in helping to protect your financial interests in asset transfers resulting from a high net worth divorce.
When you work with Kitchens New Cleghorn, you can be confident your attorney has the depth and breadth of experience to understand how all of the pieces of your financial life fit together – and how to help protect those pieces so you can start the next chapter of your life with confidence.
Choose an Attorney who has Experience Handling Atlanta High Net-Worth Divorces
If you or your spouse own a business, have multiple real estate holdings, or otherwise have some complexity to your financial situation, you owe it to yourself to work with an attorney who understands the nuances and complexities of high net worth divorces.
To learn more about how the attorneys at Kitchens New Cleghorn can help with your high net worth divorce, schedule an initial consultation today by calling 404.996.0806. Or, if you prefer, contact us online.