What Would You Consider A High Net Worth Divorce, And What Makes These So Complex?
A high net worth divorce would include an overall balance sheet of over a million dollars. In a lot of high net worth cases, in Kentucky, we have to apply the Brandenburg Formula. If you had a piece of property that was inherited or otherwise came through the family, but then the parties made improvements on the property during the marriage, we have to break down what is the marital portion of equity. In many of these high net worth cases, there are multiple pieces of real estate that are spread across multiple states and they need attorneys who are experienced in dealing with that.
Generally, high net worth cases also involve more intricate child support calculations and spousal maintenance calculations. There have recently been a lot of laws passed about who pays the attorneys’ fees in a divorce. Usually, there is going to have to be an analysis under case law. If you are the spouse who does not make as much money, then you may need help with your attorney’s fees. If you are the higher income earning spouse and required to contribute towards your spouse’s attorney’s fees, you want to be sure that you only pay a fair amount and not more than what the law requires. In high net worth cases, you tend to see more property, which generally involves more calculations, and they may own a business and will need someone to appraise that business. That can require us to work with accountants or other types of appraisers.
Why Do We Need To Involve Other Experts Or Professionals In Our High Net Worth Divorce Case, Such As A Forensic Accountant, Real Estate Attorney, Business Attorney, Or Tax Expert?
Our firm has a tax attorney in-house ad we have a real estate attorney in-house. We also have business attorneys in-house. We also have a former family court judge who practices with us. We have a lot of camaraderie amongst our family law group that we can utilize for our clients’ benefit. Even though my practice focuses on the domestic area, we have our own legal experts that can assist when it comes to those other issues. We also have relationships with local accountants. We can find the right professional for whatever our client needs. It makes things simpler on all fronts. In family law, a lot of the information we are dealing with is confidential, so we keep even our meeting locations confidential. If a client can only have to go to one place or firm and know that under that one roof, they can be taken care of by several professionals, it eliminates a lot of concerns about trust and confidentiality.
I’m A High Net Worth Executive Going Through A Divorce. What Could Be Considered Income When It Comes To Child Support And Spousal Maintenance?
We have a lot of experience representing high net worth executives. Income starts with looking at W-2 forms, tax returns, and your gross income. If you are self-employed, under Kentucky law, the court is supposed to look at what your gross revenue is, minus your expenses. Where we see a lot of complexity is when you have a self-employed business owner and they are paying themselves forty thousand dollars per year on their W-2, but the business’s revenue is a million dollars per year. That is going to be a situation where the court can look at the difference between that forty thousand and the million and how much of that may be income that is going into a retirement account or some other asset. It is not as simple as just looking at the person’s tax return because there are more deductions you can take with the IRS than what the family court would consider appropriate for determining income in a divorce and for the purposes of child support or maintenance.
What Could Be An Example Of A Unique Custody Situation That A High Net Worth Individual Could Face In A Divorce?
One thing we deal with is the parties having a very nice home that the kids have grown up in and they are worried about separating it because they want to minimize the impact on the kids and want to keep them in that home. They want to develop a custody situation where the kids stay in a nice home and one of them goes out and rents an apartment. One week, Dad will stay in the nice home with the kids while Mom stays in the apartment and then the next week, Mom stays in the house and Dad goes and lives in the apartment. A lot of people will want to do a shared custody situation that keeps the kids sleeping in the same place every night. This is one option, but there are many unique ways and methods to address these types of concerns.
What Are Some Alternative Measures We Can Take Instead Of Taking Our High Asset Divorce To Court To Determine Issues Of Custody, Maintenance, Property Division, And Debt?
I have been trained in the collaborative divorce process. A collaborative divorce is where you agree not to go to court. Dad gets an attorney, Mom gets an attorney, and they sign a contract with their respective attorneys that we are going to get try to get everything resolved without going to court. We can bring in counselors, accountants, and other experts on all the issues. We work through these issues, one at a time.
I am also a trained mediator. Sometimes, people do not want to agree to keep the case out of court because if the other side does not agree, they may want to go see a judge. However, they do want to try to work through this as amicably as possible. Mediation is where you file the divorce with the court but before going to court, you work through the divorce issues in a mediation process. It is similar to the collaborative process, but it does involve having an ongoing case in a courtroom. I serve both parties, as the mediator. They come in together. I do not represent either one, but I have the experience to know how to draft their agreement and what the judge needs to see. I can also represent one side or the other and we can go see another mediator and I could advocate for that person in a mediation setting.
For more information on High Net Divorce or Alternative Dispute Resolutions, an initial consultation is your next best step. Get the information and legal answers you are seeking by calling (812) 302-0539 today.
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