Any divorce in New York can have complications, particularly when it comes to issues of property division and child custody. However, divorce can become even more complex when it is a high asset divorce or a high net worth divorce. In other words, when a married couple has significant assets of numerous types that are particularly valuable, the process of dividing marital property can become more intricate. Since New York is an equitable distribution state, marital property is divided in a manner that is equitable or fair to both parties, but often this means that the property is not divided equally between spouses. Instead, the court will look at a variety of factors in determining what would be equitable under the specific couple’s circumstances. When there is so much high-value property to be divided, this process can become even more contentious.
If you are anticipating a high asset divorce, the following are some tips to help the process go more smoothly.
Make a List of All Assets to Ensure That Everything is Counted in the Classification Process
The first step in a high net worth divorce—and indeed in any divorce—is to make a full and complete list of any marital assets that will be subject to division, as well as any property that may be in dispute concerning its classification. To be clear, you should list every asset, from motor vehicles and pieces of art in the home to business investments and real estate holdings.
Provide Extensive Details About the Property
When you make a full and complete list of the property, you should be sure to include the date of purchase, how the item was purchased, and whether it has been valued since its initial date of purchase. If you have records of the purchase, these should be included. This kind of detail can show that property either clearly is a marital asset that was purchased after the date of marriage with marital property, or that it should be classified as separate property (and thus not subject to division) because it was purchased prior to the date of the marriage.
Having a full and complete list of property can also prevent the other spouse from attempting to hide property.
Work with Experts on the Valuation Process
Having an experienced high asset divorce attorney on your side will also mean that your legal team knows experts who can provide estimates of the current market value of your marital assets. Having expert valuations is essential given that the value of property can shift significantly over time. For example, you might have purchased a painting for $10,000 in 1990, and that painting may be worth over $100,000 in 2019.
By having your own valuations of the property conducted, you can also ensure that the other spouse does not unfairly value the property in an attempt to have it divided in a manner that would not be equitable.
Contact a New York High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer As Soon As Possible
Another extremely important step in any high net worth divorce is hiring an experienced divorce lawyer as soon as possible, according to an article in D Magazine.
Are you thinking about filing for divorce but have concerns or questions about property division? An experienced New York high net worth divorce attorney can speak with you today about your case. Contact The Mandel Law Firm for more information about the services we provide to high asset clients in family law cases.