Divorce is complicated no matter what the circumstances are. However, high net worth divorce cases are particularly complex, given the level of assets couples are generally forced to divide. As the old saying goes, more money, more problems. Yet while you may have 99 problems, your divorce doesn’t necessarily have to be one, with the Henderson divorce attorneys from Ford & Friedman. Our skilled team of litigators protect your interests every step of the way, and help identify any areas you need to look out for. Keep reading for the top issues in high asset divorces which all couples should know about, and contact Ford & Friedman for experienced representation today.
Issue #1: Child Support & Custody
If your divorce involves children, you should be prepared for a potentially lengthy and involved negotiation period. While determining child custody arrangements is rarely easy, the intersection of child custody and support may be additionally difficult to navigate in high net worth divorces. It is usually incumbent on the spouse who is the primary earner to provide support parents if they are not also the custodial parent in a divorce, and those support payments can quickly escalate.
Child support in high income cases may include expenses for:
- Private schools
- Extra-curricular activities
- College tuition
- Study abroad trips
Even in high asset divorce cases where there are large settlements on the line, it may be possible for parents to come together and agree on an arrangement that will benefit themselves and any children. However, it is still important to hire an attorney to protect your interests and the interests of your child in any custody and support negotiations.
Issue #2: Spousal Support/Alimony
Under Nevada law, NRS 125.150 Section 8 A-K, earning capacity of each spouse should be considered by the court when making a spousal support determination. In divorces involving a large net worth on the part of either party, past earning capacity is likely to be an indicator of future earning capacity, which means that a significant amount of money can be awarded in spousal support and alimony payments.
Other issues that may play a role in alimony payments include:
- Standard of living
- The length of the marriage
- Earned/unearned income
- Property brought into the marriage
- Educational background of each party
- Tax brackets
- Infidelity or misconduct on the part of either spouse
All of the aforementioned issues will only increase support payments when compounded with earning capacity. This is why it’s very important for each spouse to hire representation who will be able to analyze all aspects of the marriage and craft the best possible case during litigation.
Issue #3: Prenuptial & Postnuptial Agreements
Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements are fairly common in high net worth divorces. Especially in cases where one or both parties possessed a significant amount of assets even before entering into the marriage, it is common to draft a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement so both spouses are protected in the event of a divorce.
Areas that may be addressed in prenuptial/postnuptial agreements include:
- Child support and custody
- Premarital debt
- Delineation of items as separate or community property
- Financial responsibilities during/after the marriage
- Division of additional assets and property
While it may be possible to amend a prenup or postnuptial agreement, you will need the aid of a lawyer to accomplish this. It is also important to hire an attorney for assistance in drafting and enforcing these agreements, as it is can be easy to lose out on assets and property you are entitled to without representation.
Issue #4: Property Division
While we already touched on this a bit in the previous section, it is important to go over this issue again, particularly as it relates to high asset divorces. Nevada is what’s known as a community property state. This means that almost all assets, income, and debts accrued during a marriage are considered community property. However, it is very important to hire a lawyer to protect what is known as separate property, which is property that was acquired before a marriage.
Separate property may include:
- Legal awards and settlements
- Any income generated via separate property
This last point is especially important. Given that a separate property owned before the marriage may generate additional income, it is important to consult with a lawyer to determine how that income may be divided between you and your spouse. This ties in directly with our next issue.
Issue #5: Businesses
Business interests may be divided several ways during the dissolution of a marriage. For one thing, if the business was acquired or started during the marriage, and especially if it was acquired or started with joint funds, all assets stemming from it are likely to be considered community property, and will therefore usually be divided up evenly. However, in cases where a business was owned prior to the beginning of a marriage, or was purchased during the duration of the marriage with separate funds, it may be considered separate property, meaning that various assets and funds connected to that business may be up for negotiation.
Issue #6: Investments
While determining what constitutes separate property in a high asset divorce can be extremely difficult, community property may be equally difficult to divide, given the likelihood that the couple in question has made investments during the course of the marriage. These investments may include any number of wide-ranging options, all of which are likely to be up for debate assuming they were very expensive and/or are only likely to increase in value.
Significant property investments may include:
- Other forms of transportation
- Stock portfolios
- Insurance policies
- IRAs (Individual Retirement Accounts)
Essentially, if an investment was made during the course of a marriage, and especially if it was made with funds acquired during the marriage, it may be in contention during divorce proceedings.
Don’t Enter Into a Divorce Unprepared
Bottom line, if you are about to enter into a high net worth divorce, you need quality representation to help secure what’s rightfully yours. At Ford & Friedman, our Henderson divorce lawyers have experience in high asset cases, and are equipped to serve our clients in a full range of family law matters. Don’t get taken advantage of during your divorce. Call the professionals at Ford & Friedman, and hire an attorney to protect your assets.
Dial (702) 904-9898 to schedule a consultation, or click here to fill out our contact form online.