High Net Worth Divorce

Here’s How Divorce Changes If it Is High Net Worth

Posted in High Net Worth Divorce on May 11, 2020

The divorce of any couple can be difficult and involve confusing laws and complex legal matters. The financial side of a divorce can be even more complicated, however, with a high net worth couple. More assets to divide and issues to contest make for lengthier divorce negotiations. High net worth couples are also more likely to argue over the details of a divorce, making for a more difficult case. Learning what to expect during your high net worth divorce could help you better prepare.

How Are Child Support Guidelines Changed in a High Net Worth Divorce?

In Colorado, the courts always give a couple the option of creating a parenting plan and child support agreement without a judge’s intervention first. If the couple can agree on a parenting plan, the judge will sign off and make it official if it protects the child’s best interests. If the couple cannot agree, the matter will go to trial. During a divorce trial, a judge may assess many different factors to determine a child support amount.

  • Each parent’s respective financial resources
  • The needs of the custodial parent
  • The child’s physical and emotional condition
  • The standard of living the child normally enjoyed

The child support amount in a high net worth divorce will most likely be higher than in a lower-income marriage. The children of a high net worth marriage will be used to a certain standard of living. Colorado Revised Statute 14-10-115 states that child support guidelines change for couples with more than $30,000 a month of combined incomes. At $30,000 or more, it will be up to a judge’s discretion how much child support to award. Under $30,000 in combined income, however, comes with child support amounts from $50 to $150 a month depending on the number of children.

How Do Prenuptial Agreements Affect High Net Worth Divorces?

Prenuptial agreements protect an individual’s assets in the event of a divorce. Prenuptial agreements are more common among high net worth marriages. Someone with a higher net worth may have more to lose, making it more important to have a prenup. A valid prenuptial agreement can determine matters in a divorce such as property division and alimony. It cannot, however, affect matters related to child custody or child support.

What Business Issues Might Arise in a High Net Worth Divorce?

A high net worth divorce could involve complex asset issues. The couple – or an individual spouse – might own a business, for example. During a divorce involving a jointly owned business, the courts may divide the interests in that business between both parties. Typically, a couple will need to enlist the services of a forensic accountant for a close review of business income, assets, stocks, debts and taxation. The courts might split the business 50/50 or divide it a different way depending on the situation.

Colorado’s equitable division laws will divide property in a divorce based on what is fair, not necessarily equal. In some cases, one spouse might decide to sell his or her portion of the company to the other spouse instead of continuing to share ownership post-divorce. In other cases, a spouse might choose a property settlement note. Both parties could also agree to sell the business and divide the sales price.

How Is Spousal Support Affected in High Net Worth Divorces?

If both parties in the marriage make substantial incomes, the courts might not approve a spousal support request. If, however, earnings in the marriage were unequal, the courts could award the lower-earning spouse alimony. Colorado will award spousal support by assessing the length of the marriage, how much both spouses earn, whether the lower-earning spouse gave up a career to raise a family and many other factors.

Spousal support in Colorado will typically equal 40% of the higher-earning spouse’s income minus 50% of the lower-earning spouse’s income. A couple that has been married less than 20 years and makes up to $240,000 in combined gross income will receive alimony for a period of time based on state law: 31% of the marriage starting at 36 months and increasing by 1.17% each month thereafter. If the combined incomes of the couple exceed $240,000, however, (or if they were married more than 20 years) this equation may not apply. A judge can award alimony indefinitely in a high asset case. Discuss all the complex aspects of your high net worth divorce with a lawyer.

Divorce Concerns for Couples With High Net Worth

Posted in High Net Worth Divorce on February 5, 2020

Divorce is already difficult without a factor such as high net worth making matters more complicated. If you are seeking a high net worth divorce, you could have an uphill battle. From splitting up a jointly owned business to trying to avoid a trial, your family may go through a lot to achieve a divorce with high-value assets. It is typically in your best interest to hire a high net worth divorce attorney in Fort Collins for help.

Classifying Assets

Colorado is an equitable division divorce state. During a dissolution of marriage, the courts will divide assets according to what it believes is fair for the couple and the circumstances. This does not necessarily mean a 50/50 split, but rather an arrangement that suits the situation. The courts will not, however, touch separate property.

The state’s property division laws only apply to community property, or property the spouses own and share as a couple. Any property or assets you brought into the marriage and kept separate will remain yours. The same is true for gifts or inheritances made out specifically to you. It will be up to you and your attorney to work out which assets qualify as community property and which are separate.

Prenuptial Agreements

Many high net worth couples have prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that will factor into a divorce settlement. These are legally binding contracts that set rules for things such as property division and alimony in a divorce, signed either before or after marriage. If your marriage involves such an agreement, your lawyers will need to navigate its terms as well as the typical laws of divorce. If your spouse promised you could keep the house if caught cheating, for example, your lawyer may have to prove adultery to obtain property rights per the prenup.

Complex Asset Issues

If you and your spouse share interests in joint endeavors such as small businesses, vehicles or real estate, you will need to work through complicated ownership issues during your divorce. The same is true if you share bank accounts, retirement accounts, savings bonds, stocks or investments. A divorce could impact certain types of assets, such as the reputation of your small business. Dealing with complex and high-value assets during a divorce often requires professional assistance. A lawyer can help you navigate around delicate elements of your divorce case, along with trusted financial experts who may have to testify in court on your behalf.

Hidden or International Assets

International asset issues may arise in high-value divorce cases. You may need to hire an investigator to search for hidden assets or offshore bank accounts if you suspect your ex-spouse of concealing money from you. Having or hiding assets in another country can make for confusing tax implications, along with international business laws. You may need to hire forensic accountants or other professionals to help you through these situations.

Alimony and Child Support Payments

Alimony is a common point of contention during divorces between high net worth couples. Some have prenuptial agreements guaranteeing an alimony arrangement, while other couples may have to fight for the right to alimony before a judge. Alimony in Colorado serves to ensure each spouse continues his or her standard of living after a divorce. An alimony order may force the higher-earning spouse to pay the other a lump sum or monthly installments to support his or her lifestyle.

Child support is another issue you may have to resolve. The courts may order the higher-earning spouse to pay an additional sum to the recipient to support the children of the marriage. Spousal and child support payments are often much higher in a high-value marriage. Ask a child support attorney for assistance navigating divorce concerns during your high net worth case in Colorado.