High Net Worth Divorces
High Net Worth Divorces must be handled with added Care
When a high net worth couple decides to dissolve their marriage through a divorce, they should be more cautious than a typical couple undergoing a divorce. Given that your financial stake in a fair and equitable divorce is much greater, there are a number of things that must be done to avoid needless complex litigation and of course, to ensure the protection of your assets. Issues in an ordinary divorce, such as Child Custody as well as Child Support, are still present and may present greater difficulties if one of the spouses lives overseas or frequently travels.
If you signed a prenuptial agreement before getting married, you may have concerns about how your prenup would impact asset distribution in the event of a divorce. Our divorce lawyers will examine your prenuptial agreement in depth and discuss with you the effect it will have on the settlement of your divorce case after listening to your circumstances and goals. Rather than hiring a general practice divorce lawyer, you should consider hiring a divorce and family law attorney who has expertise in the intricacies of high-stakes divorces.
Real estate is often one of the most valuable assets in a marriage, and this is especially true for wealthy couples who own several homes or properties. Whether your real estate holdings include a marital home, vacation homes, commercial properties, or investment properties, you must decide what part of the property is subject to equitable distribution and what amount, if any, is excluded from asset division. The date of the marriage, the date of purchase, the down payment amount, and the source of the funds are all relevant variables in the allocation of these assets.
After you've considering your real estate assets, you'll need to determine whether you want to keep or sell your homes or properties. Our divorce attorneys will work with you to create innovative strategies to keep your interest in the assets after you've agreed on what to do with them. Before the settlement can be finalized, the property may need to be valued using comparative market studies and appraisals. If a value or determination on the property's disposal cannot be made, the courts may need to decide.
Valuations of Businesses, Practices, and Partnerships
A divorce in New Jersey which implicates the ownership of company assets will usually take longer to settle than a divorce involving no business assets, unless your divorce is uncontested. If one spouse owns a company, for example, the you'll need a formal appraisal and report. In this scenario, forensic accountants and actuarial specialists are typically retained to assess the business's fair market worth.
A comprehensive examination of the company site, records, books, general ledgers, payroll registers, receivables, machinery, inventory, real estate, client lists, partnership interests, enterprise, and goodwill is usually included in the valuation process. Also, if you owned the company before getting married, we'll need to determine whether it's a "marital asset." If that's the case, we'll need to figure out how much your spouse owns in the company.
We can help you create the appropriate agreement with your spouse, depending on whether you want to sell your company or keep it running after the divorce. This may be done via a buy-out, sale, annuitized settlement, or another form of distribution.
Stocks and Stock Options Contracts
If you receive stock options as part of your compensation, you might already realize the difficulties that come with dividing these assets in a divorce. To establish whether assets are eligible to equitable distribution, we'll examine your stock options to determine the award date and vesting schedule. A constructive trust may be included in your settlement agreement to handle the tax implications of your stock option payout. It may also preserve your pre-distribution interests and rights while preserving any post-judgment alternatives.
Assets for Retirement
If you accumulated retirement assets before or during your marriage, such as a 401k, 403B, or IRA, these funds may be subject to equitable distribution in your divorce. In most cases, the value of your retirement account acquired between the date of the marriage and the filing of the divorce lawsuit is subject to equitable distribution. Pensions, deferred compensation plans, SEPs, and SERPs all fall under this category.
We work with highly trained professionals to draft domestic relations orders, even if these assets may not be physically divided at the time of the divorce decision. These domestic relations orders can assist guarantee that you get the correct share and quantity of benefits owed to you on a future date. We understand the additional complexity of your position, which is why we take the time to thoroughly comprehend the implications of your position to craft a successful strategy for splitting your retirement assets or balancing those assets with other marital assets. Whether the retirement benefit is a pension, IRA, Keogh plan, 401K, 403B, or part of an employee stock option plan, we can help explain the tax implications, buy-out options, and the full Qualified Domestic Relations Order process in detail. That said, if you've combined pre-marriage interests with marital contributions, dividing your retirement assets and employee benefit programs can be expected to be more difficult.
If you're going through a high-net-worth divorce, you'll need a lawyer who focuses on family and marital law. Due to the complexity of these issues, you should choose a firm that dedicates a large portion of its practice to handling divorce cases and Family Law issues, as opposed to relying on a traditional general practice lawyer.
We value your privacy and we understand your desire to keep your personal situations away from prying eyes, which is why we ensure that every communication with us is completely confidential.
Our divorce attorneys recognize that settling a complicated divorce case properly requires strategy, top-tier negotiation skills, business experience, and investment experience, as well as implicit recognition of the importance of your personal brand as a businessperson, entrepreneur, celebrity, or athlete.
Cryptocurrencies & Digital Assets
Typically, discovery starts with the filing of the New Jersey Family Part Case Information Statement (CIS), which requires both spouses to provide detailed financial information, including a list of all assets in Part E.
IRS Notice 2014-2 clarifies that virtual money is to be regarded as property for federal income tax purposes. Cryptocurrency assets may be categorized as company property, investment property, or personal property, depending on the taxpayer's circumstances.
Nonetheless, locating concealed cryptocurrency holdings is sometimes quite difficult given their "private" nature (even when a wallet address is public, such as with Bitcoin or Ethereum). Other assets, such as Monero, contain private addresses and may be even more difficult to locate.
However, deposits and withdrawals to a Centralized Exchange (CEX) like Binance US, Coinbase/Coinbase Pro, Kraken, Gemini, Uphold, Voyager, or CashApp, may show on bank or credit card statements in certain circumstances. Those assets may then be stored on foreign CEX's like KuCoin, Bitrue, and BitMart. Additionally, the app store history of a spouse may indicate that he or she downloaded a crypto wallet or trading platform. Similarly, if your spouse has downloaded a non-custodial wallet (like MetaMask or XUMM), these may appear in his or her web browser history.
Under New Jersey's equitable division of assets rules, a court may award extra assets to one spouse if it is proven that the other spouse hid assets or was otherwise financially dishonest. A final divorce decision may even be vacated under perjury laws through Rule 4:50 if concealed assets are found later, regardless of the amount of time that has elapsed. In fact, according to New Jersey Court Rule 4:50-3; Von Pein v. Von Pein, reopening equitable distribution decisions to remedy such fraud is not time-limited and may thus be subject to re-allocation years later.