Any New Jersey divorce can present its complex and challenging issues. Some disagreements may involve custody, while others include assets and money. High-net-worth divorces present unique challenges that may take more time and effort to resolve. A couple would rarely be on the same page at the outset of a high-net-worth divorce. Here are some reasons why a high-net-worth divorce can be more complicated than the average case.
The Couple May Disagree on Valuations
In a high-net-worth divorce, the asset valuations are not always what they seem. Each spouse may have a different view of what an asset is worth, depending on their financial interests. Both may end up hiring valuation experts who have their competing views. Then, the spouses may have to negotiate about the valuation. Ultimately, the issue could be litigated in court, where a judge must listen to the experts testify.
In some cases, the couple’s net worth comes from a business. Questions about each spouse’s role in the industry often arise after the divorce. Both may not be able to coexist, necessitating that one spouse buys the other out of their share of the business. Then, the spouses may contest the valuation of the business and which one may get to keep the company.
High-Net-Worth Divorces May Involve Hidden Assets
When more assets are involved, one spouse may be interested in hiding them from the other. They believe they could get away with it and have more for themselves after the divorce. If you think your spouse is hiding assets, you must take action. The first step would be to hire a forensic accountant so you can trace and track down any hidden assets. Courts take these issues very seriously and may punish the spouse who is caught hiding assets. First, you need proof that they have not been forthcoming in disclosing their assets.
One Spouse May Need to Pay Alimony
High-net-worth divorces may also involve issues of spousal support. The couple had enjoyed a higher standard of living during their marriage. The court wants each spouse to maintain as high of a standard of living as possible. To do that, one spouse may need to pay support to the other. Spousal support is often a contested issue when the two spouses cannot reach an agreement. Figuring out support can be even more of a challenge when a spouse’s income fluctuates.
There Could Be Existing Agreements to Consider
There may be a pre or post-nuptial agreement when the couple has a high net worth. Do not assume that any agreement is automatically enforceable because both spouses have signed it. One spouse may have arguments about why a court should not enforce an agreement. They file a challenge at the outset of the divorce, seeking to invalidate a prior agreement.
High-Net-Worth Divorces Can Take Longer
There is a higher likelihood that a high-asset divorce would take longer to resolve. There is much more at stake for both spouses, and they have more to negotiate. There is a strong chance that they may need to go to mediation before they can reach an agreement. Given the stakes, the case may even end up in court. Then, there would be an extensive amount of discovery that must be conducted. If the case goes to trial, it could take over a year to complete.
Our Middlesex County Divorce Lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC Handle High-Asset Divorce Cases
Our skilled Middlesex County divorce lawyers at Wiley Lavender Maknoor, PC have experience in these complex cases where many assets are at stake. Call us at 732-494-6099 or complete our online form to schedule your free initial consultation today. Located in Metuchen, New Jersey, we serve clients in Middlesex County, Monmouth County, Union County, and Somerset County.