Syracuse High Asset Divorce Lawyer
Divorce is an emotionally wrenching and stressful life event. It can be even more complicated and anxiety-driving if the couple involved has significant assets. Handling a high-asset divorce requires specific legal and financial knowledge, expertise, and skills.
If you plan to divorce and you or your spouse has assets exceeding $1,000,000, you need an attorney with experience handling divorces for high-net-worth individuals. A Syracuse high-asset divorce lawyer may diligently represent someone looking to leave their marriage with their personal assets intact and a fair share of the marital assets.
Equitable Distribution in High Net Worth Divorce
New York Domestic Relations § 236(B)(3) calls for the equitable distribution of marital property upon divorce. Dividing property equitably means that the division is fair, considering the circumstances. The circumstances a Court will consider when deciding whether property division is fair include the:
- Length of the marriage;
- Contributions each party made to the marriage, including managing the home, raising children, and supporting the other spouse’s professional endeavors;
- Value of each spouse’s personal property;
- Each spouse’s capacity to provide for themselves a lifestyle similar to the living standard they enjoyed while married;
- Each spouse’s age and physical and mental health;
- Necessity of staying in the family home if the couple has young children; and,
- Change in each spouse’s net worth from the time of marriage to the time of divorce.
These considerations can be contentious in a high-asset divorce. A spouse who was successful before marriage might discount the other spouse’s contributions to their career. If there was a significant disparity in wealth before marriage, the wealthier spouse might resist allowing the other spouse to enjoy a much higher standard of living after divorce. A Syracuse high-asset divorce attorney may assist with structuring a property division that a court would consider equitable.
Challenging Prenuptial Agreements
Many high-asset individuals pursue a prenuptial agreement (prenup) before marriage. When the couple divorces, the spouse with less wealth might challenge the prenup. Although Courts generally uphold these agreements, a spouse wishing to challenge or defend a prenup should obtain Syracuse counsel with experience handling high-asset divorces.
Judges evaluate the validity of prenuptial agreements according to basic contract law principles. The prenup must be in writing, and the parties must sign it before a notary. The couple must sign the contract before marriage; it does not take effect until they marry. Both parties must agree to the prenup willingly and not be under duress.
Unlike most other states, New York does not require couples to make full financial disclosures to their prospective spouses. However, if a spouse can prove the other spouse fraudulently misled them before signing the prenup, a court might invalidate it. A Court also could invalidate a prenup if it is unconscionable, meaning clearly unfair.
Negotiating Property Division is a Lengthy Process
Spouses are often eager to conclude a divorce as quickly as possible, but this is often unrealistic with cases of this nature. Couples with high net worth typically have real estate, business interests, investments, jewelry, art, multiple homes, boats, and other assets. During the property division process, each of these assets must be valued, and a determination made about whether it is marital property or separate.
When a spouse is eager to finalize a divorce, they might give away too much or settle for too little. It is important to be patient and allow attorneys and other professionals to gain a complete picture of a couple’s financial status. Only then can productive negotiations begin.
Spouses with high net worth sometimes try to hide assets or debts. Doing so is fraud, and Courts could penalize a spouse by forcing them to make restitution or pay the other spouse’s attorney’s fees. In particularly egregious cases, a judge could find a dishonest spouse in contempt of Court and assess fines or jail time. A Syracuse lawyer may further explain the processes and procedures of high-asset divorces.
Pursue a Fair Result With a Syracuse High Asset Divorce Attorney
If you are contemplating a high-asset divorce, it is crucial to get legal help right away. Our legal team could advise you on preparing for your divorce even before you decide to file.
A Syracuse high asset divorce lawyer may offer solid advice and support throughout the process. Call today to get started.