A high net worth divorce means that a lot is at stake. Unlike middle-income couples who are W-2 employees, high income couples often have a complex financial life. Assets might include more than one home, several automobiles, a business, significant investment accounts, jewelry and more. A high net worth divorce often takes longer and is more contentious simply because there is more property to fight over and divide.
Massachusetts is a "fair and equitable" state when it comes to dividing marital assets. This means that the court considers several factors, including the occupation, employability, income sources, age and health of each spouse, when determining which party receives what assets. While the law states that the division must be fair and equitable, it does not say that it has to be equal.
Because the financial implications are so high, one spouse might try to hide assets from the other by transferring them to a third person. One party might try to keep financial records secret or devalue an asset by neglecting it. As a result, forensic accountants are often needed to uncover all marital assets. This process of property discovery only adds to the complexity and length of a high net worth divorce.
The tax implications in a high net worth divorce can also complicate the process. Each party might end up with an unexpected financial obligation if he or she has to pay taxes on valuable property distributions.
No divorce is fun. Each one carries with it emotional challenges. The added stress of diving up extensive assets in a high net worth divorce makes these divorces even more complex and unsettling. If you are a high net worth individual contemplating divorce, then please contact us. Our skilled, experienced divorce lawyers will review your situation and determine the best path forward. We are here to protect your rights.