Divorce is a painful process, particularly when there are children involved. The complications inherent in a high-net-worth divorce are apt to make divorce even more difficult since there are more assets to divide and all decisions carry a heavier price tag. If you have $1 million or more in liquid assets, you require the services of a divorce attorney with experience handling high-net-worth divorces. For residents of Paramus and the surrounding area of New Jersey, Bozanian McGregor LLC is the family law practice to call.
Why Divorcing High-Net-Worth New Jerseyites Choose Bozanian McGregor
We have a well-earned reputation for excellent legal skills, as well as for efficiency and integrity. More than that, we realize that divorce is a sensitive matter and will always treat you and your family with compassion and respect. We also understand that high-net-worth individuals often shy away from publicity and that discretion is, therefore, essential.
We recognize that settling a divorce out of court is usually advantageous, especially when there are large sums involved. As frequently as possible, we negotiate to settle high-net-worth divorces without a trial in order to limit expenses and unnecessary stress. Nonetheless, we are always well-prepared to litigate in order to arrive at the best outcome.
Issues of High-Net-Worth Divorce in New Jersey and How We Resolve Them
Like so many other laws, divorce laws differ from state to state. For this reason, it’s critical to have a divorce attorney who has an in-depth understanding of New Jersey statutes. Our divorce laws work under the principle of equitable distribution, meaning that the two spouses need not split their marital assets 50-50, but must rather divide them in a way that the court deems fair to each party.
Marital assets include:
- Property purchased during the marriage or previously owned if the other spouse contributed to mortgage payments, upkeep, and/or renovation
- Debts accumulated by the couple during the marriage
- Paychecks earned during the marriage
- Businesses or practices that were purchased or increased in value during the marriage
- Investments, employment benefits, pensions
It is sometimes difficult to distinguish marital assets from separate property, particularly if the two have been commingled during the marriage. In high-net-worth marriages, however, there is a greater probability that prenuptial or mid-marriage agreements may have already been signed, clarifying the distinction. On the other hand, divorce has a way of making previous agreements questionable. This is another reason it is crucial to have a strong attorney in your corner.
In any case, property considered separate consists of:
- Assets that either spouse brought to the marriage
- Inheritances bequeathed to only one spouse
- Personal injury damages awarded to one spouse
- Gifts are given to one spouse only
Gifts given to one spouse by the other during the marriage are considered marital property.
Hidden Assets Can Be a Serious Problem in High-Net-Worth Divorces
With so much at stake, some spouses cannot resist the temptation to hide assets prior to divorce in order to subvert equitable distribution. As your alert divorce attorneys, one of our important duties is to protect you from being treated unfairly. We know how to ferret out assets that have been hidden by:
- Moving money into an account held in another party’s name
- Moving money into overseas bank accounts
- Making cash purchases of expensive items, such as artwork, jewelry or vehicles that may be easier to conceal than bank accounts or investments
- Delaying promotions or bonuses until after the divorce so they will not have to be shared
If you have any suspicion that you are being taken advantage of in this way, share it with us so we can do our due diligence. In order to protect you from this kind of shenanigans, we will thoroughly investigate withdrawals from bank accounts by your spouse prior to divorce filing, business accounts, financial statements, tax documents, and pay stubs to prove discrepancies. We also have a network of expert appraisers capable of assessing the value of items your spouse may have purchased and attempted to hide or devalue.
Spousal Support (Alimony)
Years ago, when marriages typically included only one working spouse, alimony was almost always part of divorce agreements. Now that the majority of marriages include two working spouses, many divorces occur without any spousal support. Nonetheless, there are times when alimony may be called for, such as when one spouse is ill or incapacitated or when one spouse cannot earn a high enough income without further education or training.
In some situations, rehabilitative alimony is provided during the transitional period during which one spouse is supported during training or education after the divorce. Similarly, durational alimony is sometimes awarded to the primary caregiver when there are young children.
The court will take several factors into account when deciding whether to award spousal support, including:
- The length of the marriage
- Each spouse’s age and physical/mental health
- The standard of living during the marriage
Generally, the court will not use marital fault as a factor when determining whether to award alimony.
A relatively new law regarding alimony in New Jersey now limits alimony payments to the length of the marriage. The same law stipulates that alimony payments must stop once the payer reaches retirement age.
No matter what the particular circumstances, whether you are the paying spouse or the receiving one, once you become our client our divorce lawyers will be at your side and on your side during all negotiations.
Regardless of custody arrangements, the wealthier parent usually provides support to the less affluent parent, even though both may be well-off by normal standards. This is because both parents are viewed by the state as being responsible for supporting their children. Our lawyers are committed to making sure that your children are fairly treated in the divorce agreement and that, when all is said and done, you are not shorted or fleeced.
Contact Our Accomplished High-Net-Worth Divorce Attorneys Today
Our attorneys are well-informed about all aspects of high-net-worth divorce: asset distribution, spousal support (alimony), child custody, child support, family businesses, and projected future income. You can depend on us to protect your interests and your loved ones as well as your assets. Contact us now to receive the empathy and powerful representation you deserve.