Unique Property Considerations in a High-Net-Worth Divorce
For high-net-worth individuals, property distribution in divorce takes on heightened importance. Our New Jersey divorce lawyers have the experience and strategic mindset needed to protect your wealth to the greatest extent possible.
Regardless of your net worth, when you get divorced in New Jersey, the assets in your “marital estate” are subject to equitable distribution. Equitable does not necessarily mean equal, but it does mean that both spouses are entitled to a substantial share of the couple’s marital property regardless of who was responsible for the accumulation of wealth during their marriage.
If you have substantial wealth that you need to protect in your divorce, you will need to work with an experienced attorney. At Schultz & Associates, we focus our practice on high-net-worth divorce representation. We have represented wealthy individuals throughout New Jersey in complex divorces, and we can use our experience to ensure that you receive the property to which you are legally entitled.
5 Key Factors in High-Net-Worth Divorce Property Distribution
1. Equitable Distribution
As we mentioned, equitable does not necessarily mean equal. But, if this is the case, what exactly does “equitable” mean? The answer will vary from one divorce to the next, as New Jersey law requires appropriate weighting of a list of factors on a case-by-case basis. When we represent you in your divorce, we will collect the evidence needed to use these factors to your advantage, and we will work to preserve as much of your wealth as possible under the applicable provisions of New Jersey law.
In order to equitably distribute a marital estate, it is necessary to have a clear picture of the value of each individual asset in the estate. We work with a number of appraisers who have specific experience valuing assets for purposes of equitable distribution, and we can work with specialists (such as business appraisers) if necessary in order to make sure that you do not unknowingly give up more than your fair share in your divorce. If necessary, we can also challenge your spouse’s appraisals, and we have a variety of means available for ensuring that your equitable distribution is be based upon appropriate valuations.
3. Tax Considerations
For wealthy individuals, the distribution of marital property in a divorce can potentially trigger substantial tax liability. Our attorneys have a deep understanding of the tax issues involved in high-net-worth divorces, and we can help structure your property distribution to minimize your overall tax obligation.
4. Prenuptial and Mid-Marriage Agreements
The one way to avoid New Jersey’s equitable distribution rule is by entering into a prenuptial or mid-marriage agreement. If you and your fiancé or spouse signed an enforceable agreement that addresses property rights in the event of a divorce, we can use your agreement to make sure your wealth is secure.
5. Protecting What Matters Most
If you do not have a prenuptial or mid-marriage agreement, during the property distribution phase of your divorce, you will need to make some important decisions about what matters most. We can help you explore your options for protecting as many of your prized possessions as possible, and we can execute a strategy focused on protecting the assets you wish to keep for the rest of your life. Frequently, we represent clients who have a significant interest in protecting:
Art and coin collections
- Classic cars
- Deferred compensation
- Gifts from parents
- Oriental rugs
- Property outside of U.S.
- Rental and investment properties
- Summer houses
Contact Schultz & Associates for a Confidential Consultation
For more information about how we can assist with protecting your wealth during your divorce, please contact us to arrange a confidential consultation. To speak with an experienced divorce attorney at our family law offices in Hackensack, NJ, call (201) 430-7845 or request an appointment online today.