Harrisburg High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers
Fighting for your rights in high asset divorce cases
The disputes in high net-worth cases can become very contentious and very complex because there’s a lot of money at stake. In most cases, there’s a family home – which only one spouse can live in. One or both spouses may have businesses that they want to own or control – so they have a steady income and an asset they can pass on to their children. There are often retirement benefits that each spouse may have a claim to. Children have the right to more support when their parents have more funds.
The experienced family lawyers at the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter understand how much is at stake in high-net-worth cases. We fight to fully identify the assets and to assess the correct value of those assets. We explain how high net-worth cases affect all parts of your divorce including the equitable division of marital property, alimony, child custody, and child support. We also explain why prioritizing your goals is more important in high-worth cases because you can often trade off what you don’t want for the things you really do desire.
Equitable division and high net-worth divorces
Spouses whose assets are highly valuable tend to be:
- Older spouses who have accumulated assets during a long marriage
- Spouses who have an ownership interest in a business
- Spouses who have worked a long time and have retirement plans, stock options, and employee benefits that may vest soon or have already vested.
The assets in high net-worth cases often include:
- The marital home
- Vacation homes and other homes
- Family-run or closely held businesses
- Stock and investment portfolios
- Pensions, annuities, IRAs, and other retirement or long-term plans
- Bank accounts
In some high asset cases, the spouses have entered into a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. If the agreement is valid, the agreement determines how the property is divided.
In cases where there is no agreement, the law considers a variety of factors such as the value of the assets, the type of assets, the length of the marriage, the lifestyle of the spouses before the marriage dissolved, the debts of the spouses, and many other factors.
We conduct a thorough review (through the discovery process) to identify all the assets your spouse owns or has a claim to. We work with financial professionals such as appraisers and accountants to determine the true value of the assets.
Once the marital property has been identified and a value has been placed on the assets, we fight to secure your financial future by:
- Identifying which assets you want to keep
- Identifying which assets can be sold
- Identifying which assets of your spouse you are willing to let him/her key provided you are paid your equitable share
- Drafting QDROs which are complicated agreements to ensure you are paid your fair share of any retirement benefits your spouse possesses
- Determining the debts each spouse owes including secured debts like a mortgage and unsecured debts like credit card bills
- Reviewing your interest in a business you own and your spouse’s interest in a business. We’ll help you keep your business and help you obtain your equitable share of your spouse’s business
Many high net-worth cases are resolved through negotiation, mediation, or the collaborative divorce process. Contested cases are resolved through court hearings.
In some cases, we work with investigators – especially if you think your spouse is trying to hide some of his/her assets or is trying to undervalue them.
In high-asset cases, there may be complicated tax consequences to how the property is divided. We work with financial professionals, when necessary, to address the federal and state tax issues.
Alimony and high net-worth divorces
If you supported your spouse so he/she could run a business or work at a good-paying job, you may have the right to alimony.
We help ensure that your spouse doesn’t use his/her economic advantage to force a bad settlement – by demanding your right to alimony pendente lite.
If your ability to earn a living is limited, we demand your spouse pay alimony so you can acquire the job skills you need or so you can (in cases such as when a spouse is older or disabled) receive long-term alimony.
If both spouses are financially comfortable, which may be the case in high-asset cases, then there may be no duty for a spouse to pay alimony,
Child custody and high-net-worth divorces
In high-asset cases, one priority is to ensure your child lives in the home he/she grew up in.
The family judge will not prefer one parent over another just because a parent can afford a more expensive home.
Child support and high net-worth divorces
Children have the right to live in the same lifestyle (or as close to it as possible) as they did before the divorce. This means parents are required to pay child support based on the assets and their ability to earn a living. If parents have more and earn more, their children have the right to receive more money for their home life, their education, their health needs, and their social needs.
At the Law Office of Jason R. Carpenter, our Harrisburg high net-worth lawyers understand the pros and cons of high net-worth cases. We fight for your fair share of all the marital property. We fight to provide for your children’s needs and your support needs – according to how the children and you lived while you were married. To schedule an appointment with an experienced family lawyer, call us at: (717) 537-0928 or complete our contact form.
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