Learn Just How High the Stakes Are
High-asset divorce is a time when the stakes are incredibly high. While one might be tempted to think that a high-asset divorce is simply a divorce involving more money, the true answer goes far beyond this assumption.
Someone preparing to go through a high-asset divorce should be aware of additional considerations to pay attention to throughout the process.
No issue can seem more important to a high-asset divorce than what happens to all of those assets. It is natural to want to protect what you believe to be yours in a divorce, and nowhere can that desire be more evident than in a high-asset divorce.
In Pennsylvania, only marital property is divided; anything acquired prior to marriage is considered separate property and will not be divided. What this means for higher earners is that they should pay special attention to the assets that they have acquired during the time they have been married. Any assets acquired prior to marriage, regardless of the complexity, will not be divided in your high-asset divorce.
However, as you determine marital and separate assets, note if any funds or assets have been commingled with any marital assets (typically seen in bank accounts); if such a commingling exists, then the separate property could be viewed as marital property and, thus, be subject to division.
High-asset divorce typically involves more complicated assets than other divorces. While common assets such as personal property and real estate can be found in any divorce, high-asset divorce often involves assets that can present their own unique challenges, including the following:
Multiple pieces of real estate beyond the family home (including vacation homes, investment properties, etc.)
Digital assets such as cryptocurrencies and NFTs.
Stock accounts or other investment accounts.
Retirement accounts and pension plans.
Be sure to speak with your high-asset divorce attorney to learn how to navigate the difficulties associated with the complex assets present in your divorce. They can provide you the guidance you need to know how to move forward with confidence.
Child Support and Alimony
Higher earners should be aware of how much they may pay in alimony and child support, as well. While every couple’s circumstances will be different, it can be assumed that a higher earner may end up paying more in alimony and child support than someone going through a “traditional” divorce. The reason for this is simple: the higher your income, the higher your payments.
When trying to determine how much child support and alimony someone may be responsible for, you should consider two key factors.
With child support, the parent who has primary custody of a child is the parent who will be receiving the child support. If you are the higher earner and have primary custody, then you may not have to worry about paying child support.
Judges typically reserve awarding alimony payments in a divorce for situations in which one spouse is dependent on the other spouse’s income to live. If after your divorce your spouse will see a significant drop in monthly income, it is reasonable to expect to have to pay alimony.
Be aware that you may be responsible for higher alimony and child support payments if you are going through a high-asset divorce. Speak with your high-asset divorce attorney to fully understand your options.
In all of these issues could be tension and high emotion. Because of this high likelihood, you should go into a divorce expecting there to be some contention and, if unable to come to agreements on issues, multiple court appearances. You will need a high-asset divorce attorney who will fight for your rights in court.
Working with a High-Asset Divorce Attorney
In addition, you should go into a high-asset divorce understanding that not just any divorce attorney will get the job done. Because of the complications that commonly arise in this type of divorce, you will want to be sure that your attorney understands the challenges of high-asset divorce and has experience working through the various issues that present themselves. At Statt Law, our team can help you overcome the difficulties in high-asset divorce and get you started on the next chapter of your life with the best possible outcome present. We will fight for your rights and will work to protect your best interests.
To learn more about our services or to schedule a consultation, call us at (717) 537-0928 or visit us online.