What makes a high net worth divorce different?

Since high net worth individuals often possess more assets, the division of these can become more time-consuming during divorce proceedings. This can cause for more assets to be considered during the distribution process. Equitable distribution must be considered for this process. It can prove to be a lengthy process since many assets and possessions could be involved. These divorces can be impacted by prenuptial agreements, 401(k) plans, defined benefit pension plans, IRAs, restricted stock or stock options, business ownership, professional licenses, involved tax structures and planning, offshore assets, bonuses that do not vest immediately, real estate holdings and widespread investments. All of these possessions can contribute to the value of an individual’s net worth. As someone with a high net worth, you should make sure that your rights are protected since you may have to face an investigation into your assets to disclose your final net worth. If you are the opposing party, you should also have someone working on your behalf to provide a fair outcome.

What do judges consider when deciding how to distribute assets?

Equitable distribution is a useful tool involved in the distribution of assets in marriage. With this concept in mind, judges split the marital assets between the spouses to ensure a fair allocation. However, this does not mean the distribution will be equal. The final decision on the distribution is made by a judge after the consideration of many factors. Equitable distribution is a concept used to provide a fair and just division of assets, not an equal division.

To split assets according to equitable distribution laws, judges must consider many aspects relating to each situation and marriage. These factors include the duration of the marriage, the age of both parties, the health of both parties, the income or property brought to the marriage by each spouse, the established standard of living, any written agreements made before or during the marriage relating to property distribution, economic circumstances of each party, the income and earning capacity of each party and much more. Assets that were acquired before the marriage was officiated may not be involved in the equitable distribution process.

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