Divorce is rarely easy, even when it is “no fault.” But there is an extra layer of complexity when one or both partners have an atypically high income or net-worth. This is often the case for those who have substantial business interests or highly valuable assets. Valuing these assets be complicated. For example, this includes shares of a closely held business, art, or compensation structures that include significant sales commissions, bonuses, deferred compensation plans, stock options, ESOPs, or RSUs.
In this situation, it’s best to find a qualified divorce attorney who knows how to deal with the nuances of these type of issues. At Freed Marcroft, our West Hartford high net-worth divorce lawyers can help throughout the asset division stage and with various other subjects that may be contested during the dissolution of your marriage.
Managing Division of High-Value Assets
Connecticut follows an “equitable distribution” approach to property division during divorce. This means courts will try to make an “equitable” decision about who will own how much of each piece of property or asset. We should point out, “equitable” does not mean “equal” in this context, it means “fair.” It’s actually somewhat unusual for a divorcing couple to each receive exactly 50 percent of each and every divisible marital assets—especially when one or both of them have a large net-worth.
Instead, courts may prioritize various factors, including the financial contributions each of you made to the marriage, specific assets or properties you hold, and contributions like household work that allowed a spouse to focus completely on their career. Other items that require special attention in high-net worth cases include:
- Retirement benefits
- Prenuptial agreements
- Trust assets and income
In some cases, the reason for the breakdown of the marriage – including grounds for a fault-based divorce – may also come into play, both when deciding on asset division and establishing alimony obligations.
A West Hartford high-income divorce attorney will design a strategy to appraise the value of these assets and make your case to the court. In the event that your partner wants to use their own financial assets to drag the proceedings out for personal gain, a lawyer can step in and keep it from being derailed. Just because one spouse has access to more money than the other doesn’t mean they get to dictate the terms of the divorce.
Many individuals with a large net-worth tend to prefer privacy – often either because they are public figures or discretion is a priority because of their business interests. Mediation and collaborative divorce can be more private options for divorce. And, discussions between you and Freed Marcroft are confidential.
Does Personal Income Have an Effect on Custody Arrangements?
Another difficult and emotional aspect of high net-worth divorces is determining what custody or visitation rights each spouse will have with their children. Courts always prioritize their view of the child’s best interests when establishing custody orders and parenting plans. Just because one parent has more money than the other doesn’t necessarily mean that it will be in a child’s best interest to live with that parent the majority of the time.
On the other hand, a parent’s ability to provide financially and emotionally for their child will be analyzed. It also helps if a parent has many pre-existing relationships with friends, teachers, other family members, and the community as a whole. A high net-worth divorce lawyer in West Hartford can go into more detail about what the courts look for when determining custody, as well as alimony and child support payments.
Please Call a West Hartford High Net-Worth Divorce Attorney for Guidance
Divorces with significant assets or wealth, can take longer than other divorces and have more inherent complexity. If you are concerned about protecting your assets after you or your spouse file for divorce, you need sophisticated, experienced counsel. Freed Marcroft has extensive prior experience with these cases, and will design a strategy rooted in your long-term goals.
Our West Hartford high net-worth divorce lawyers can provide much-needed clarity about your options. Please call today.