Westchester High-Net-Worth/High Asset Divorce Lawyer
The decision to divorce is never easy and every divorce is unique. In every divorce, there is a great deal at stake, both now and in the future. In some cases, divorce involving high assets or a high-net-worth may present even more challenges. Working through a high asset divorce can be intimidating but working with a Westchester high-net-worth/high asset divorce lawyer may make the process easier.
There are special considerations in a high asset divorce and attention to minute details is essential. Understanding some of these concerns is a crucial first step in addressing some of the issues often involved in a high asset divorce. Reach out to a seasoned divorce attorney today.
Dividing Business Assets in Westchester High-Net-Worth Divorces
Unlike divorces between spouses with generally equivalent physical and fiscal assets, high-net-worth and high asset divorces often involve large financial interests that are immaterial in nature and difficult to quantify with an exact dollar amount. If two parties to a divorce jointly own a 50 percent stake in a company, for instance, the process of determining the real monetary value of that stake, what percentage of that value each party could reasonably claim, and whether the stake itself should be divided evenly—or at all—can be tremendously complicated and require significant input from external experts and legal representatives.
Of particular concern for high-asset couples seeking a divorce is the prospect of one or both parties undervaluing an asset during the asset division process. For example, if one party’s stock portfolio is valued at $500,000 at the time of their divorce but then rises dramatically in value to $1,500,000 after the divorce concludes, the other party to that divorce may have valid questions about which valuation should have been factored into the settlement they received, especially if the former party had information about the portfolio’s true value that would have changed that valuation if they had disclosed it during their divorce. A skilled Westchester high-net-worth/high asset divorce lawyer could assist with fairly dividing business assets.
Three Methods of Valuating Businesses
Although each situation is unique, there are three general patterns that can be followed when placing a monetary value on business assets during a high-net-worth divorce. The simplest is the asset approach, which subtracts total liabilities from total tangible and intangible assets to determine the true value of a business. Although straightforward on the surface, this method can become complex depending on the assets involved and how easily they can be quantified.
The market approach can be useful for valuating businesses, as it assigns the value to an asset based on what prices similar assets were previously sold for elsewhere. However, this method is dependent on there being relevant examples of similar assets, which may not be the case in a certain specialty or niche industries.
Finally, the income approach makes educated assumptions about future net profits and income based on historical data and formulas. While this is the most commonly used method for valuating businesses, it may not be perfect for all circumstances. A Westchester high asset/high net worth divorce attorney could help determine which method is most appropriate for valuating assets in an individual divorce.
Importance of Equitable Distribution
Regardless of the type of divorce or amount of assets involved, New York follows a theory of equitable distribution when approaching divorce. Since equitable does not always mean exactly equal, this process can present several challenges during high-net-worth divorces.
When divorcing spouses cannot agree on the terms of asset distribution, courts may consider certain factors in determining an equitable approach to the distribution of assets. These factors may include:
- Duration of the marriage
- Age and health of both spouses
- The income and property of each spouse at the time of marriage as well as at the time an action for divorce begins
- Maintenance awards, including spousal support if applicable
- Potential financial circumstances of each spouse in the future
Knowing and understanding what factors a court may consider can put you in a better position for the negotiation process. Even in a high-net-worth divorce, debts and liabilities can also be an issue. Both individual and joint debts may need to be addressed during settlement negotiations.
How a High-Net-Worth/High Asset Divorces Attorney in Westchester Attorney Could Help
There is a great deal at stake in every divorce, but there are often even more concerns associated with a high asset divorce. It can be easy to overlook important details that are crucial to exercising your rights in these cases.
A dedicated Westchester high-net-worth/high asset divorce lawyer could work with you to anticipate challenges and confront them when they arise which may make a big difference in your high asset divorce. For more information about what a high asset or high-net-worth divorce could mean for you, contact our firm and speak with our passionate lawyers in Westchester today.