When a couple with significant assets divorces, dividing these assets in equitable distribution can present unique challenges. As you and your spouse accumulate wealth during your marriage, it can create a significant dispute in divorce as each spouse attempts to claim the wealth that each spouse deems as “theirs.”
High-asset divorces often involve unique issues and questions that require experienced, knowledgeable legal representation and expert financial assistance to untangle. These divorces require careful planning and innovative legal strategies to obtain favorable outcomes for divorcing spouses.
Protecting Assets in High-Net-Worth Divorces
High asset divorces require additional financial legwork compared to the divorces of other couples. For example, the legal teams of both spouses will need to undertake work, such as:
Valuation of the marital estate and other real estate that is part of the marital estate — this real estate may be unique and challenging to easily value
Valuation of retirement accounts and deferred compensation packages
Valuation of investment accounts and securities
Valuation of ownership interests in closely-held businesses
Valuation of individual personal assets, such as artwork, jewelry, vehicles, or collections
Evaluation of the respective net worths of the spouses
Unfortunately, in high-asset divorces, it is common for one or both spouses to hide assets from one another when the marriage begins to fail, in anticipation of keeping as much wealth for oneself as possible.
As a result, there is much investigation and work to be done to uncover assets that have been hidden by your spouse or to untangle accounting discrepancies to ensure that every dollar of your joint wealth is accounted for.
However, these investigations can take months, especially if the spouse under investigation resists requests for documents and information. It may sometimes be necessary to go to the court to obtain orders directing a spouse or third-parties to turn over documents and information.
Many high-net-worth couples also have prenuptial agreements that can have an impact on how the marital estate is distributed. There may be significant litigation between a divorcing couple over the interpretation of a prenuptial agreement or even whether such an agreement is even enforceable.
Additional Issues in High Asset Divorces in Tennessee
High asset divorces can pose complicated issues beyond the division of marital assets between spouses.
For example, the high-net-worth can complicate alimony or spousal support computation. While alimony is intended to allow both spouses to enjoy a similar standard of living post-divorce, when alimony is combined with equitable distribution of a high-asset marital estate, the spouse ordered to pay alimony may argue that the recipient spouse is effectively “double-dipping” by receiving significant alimony along with a sizable portion of the marital wealth.
It may be necessary to resolve disputes over alimony and ensure that any alimony award is appropriately balanced against the equitable distribution of the marital estate.
High-asset divorces can also pose complications for calculating child support obligations. Tennessee’s child support guidelines can be inadequate when a parent has great wealth. But the purpose of child support is to ensure that a parent provides financial support for his or her child, that the child shares in the good fortune of his or her parents, and that the child receives the standard of living that he or she would have enjoyed had the family unit stayed together.
However, parents in high asset divorces may hotly contest the amount of child support; even though child support is intended for the benefit of the child it is paid to the custodial parent, a parent who pays child support may argue that the recipient parent is using child support or seeking additional child support to fund the recipient parent’s lifestyle.
How an Experienced Attorney Can Help in High Asset Divorces
High-asset divorces are complex matters that often take years to resolve, imposing a significant emotional burden on families. An experienced high asset divorce attorney can help you through the complicated process of a high asset divorce by providing focused, compassionate representation while ensuring that your legal rights and interests are vigorously protected.
High asset divorces can be challenging to resolve because significant wealth means there are significant assets or unique assets that must be evaluated for incorporation in the marital estate and valued for equitable distribution.
An experienced attorney can help you by thoroughly investigate your and your spouse’s assets to determine the full value of the marital estate. If your spouse has attempted to hide or devalue assets, an experienced attorney will diligently and meticulously pursue every lead to uncover hidden or devalued assets.
An attorney can work with financial experts to determine the appropriate value of the assets of your marital estate, including special or unique assets such as closely-held business interests, artwork, jewelry, private yachts or jets, or antiques or performance vehicles.
An experienced attorney who has handled high asset divorces will aggressively advocate on your behalf to ensure that you receive the greatest share of the marital estate that you are entitled to under Tennessee divorce law.
Finally, an experienced high asset divorce attorney can also help resolve the complications that significant assets pose for common divorce issues like alimony, spousal support, or child support.
Contact Shannon A. Jones, Attorney at Law, for Assistance with Your High Asset Divorce in Tennessee
High asset divorces are complicated endeavors. No one should go through the divorce process without aggressive, experienced legal representation. An experienced high asset divorce lawyer will do everything in their power to make sure that you get a fair share of the marital estate and that divorce issues like alimony or child support are resolved.
If you are considering or are in the midst of a divorce, and you and your spouse have considerable assets, contact Tennessee high asset divorce lawyer Shannon A. Jones at (901) 390-9041 to schedule a confidential consultation.