The end of your marriage is inevitable. It is not something you wished for, but you must now deal with the reality of it. The strain of it has taken a tremendous toll on your mind and emotions. But as you fight through the psychological difficulty of leaving the life you’ve known behind you must plan for the material facts of the life that is in front of you.
If the estate of you and your partner is worth a considerable amount of money, it is imperative that you begin the process of getting your share of it straightaway. Your situation will not improve with time, and every minute that you spend in inaction only strengths the hand of the person you are about to divorce.
High net worth divorces are the most complex and difficult to deal with because most of the actual process of the divorce will be spent on financial matters. The very moment you decide that you cannot go on in your marriage and must seek a divorce, you should contact a divorce lawyer who specializes in these sorts of cases. If it is the other way around, and it is you that is being sued for divorce, then you should contact a high net worth divorce lawyer the very moment you suspect what is coming.
In such cases, when an official petition for divorce is filed the judge will usually order a suspension of all major purchases and a halt to all attempts to convert assets from one form of capital to another—turning stocks into cash, for example.
Then you and your partner will need to decide on the division of assets. It is important to note that New York law mandates an equitable division of assets, which is not the same as an equal division of assets. You should know that in most high net worth divorce cases there is an uneven distribution of assets. That is why you must go to work quickly to get as thorough an accounting of all the assets of the estate. The process of doing so is as follows:
-asset declaration: during this stage a comprehensive outline of all property and assets is drawn up
-asset valuation: all assets are then assessed to determine their exact value
-marital property: all assets and debt acquired after the marriage are declared marital property, and they are subject to equitable distribution
-separate property: assets that were owned before the marriage are considered separate property, and these are returned to each person. If no prenuptial agreement exists, this property is also subject to equitable distribution
Getting a full picture of all the assets that form the estate is not always easy or straightforward. If you were not directly involved or familiar with the finances of your partner, you will essentially be playing catch-up. You may also encounter an additional obstacle. Your ex may not be forthcoming about the assets. In fact, they may attempt to hide money, capital, and other sources of wealth.
An experienced high net worth divorce lawyer knows that the best response to this possibility is to hire a forensic accountant. Such a professional can dig deeper into the finances of the estate; they can track down the various sources of revenue and income enjoyed by your ex and to ensure that every sort of investment, stock option, and tax instrument is found and made part of the larger pot that is to be divided.
This is necessary part of the divorce proceeding. You must protect yourself, and you must make sure that you have all the facts. It may be the case—indeed it is not uncommonly the case—that your ex has been planning to divorce you for some time, and that they have been moving money and other investments around in ways that make it difficult for standard accounting analyses to find.
You should also ensure that the various business interests that your ex is involved in do not become shelters for hiding money. This is a common practice for those who want to keep parts of their personal wealth out of sight of conventional financial review authorities.
You gave all that you could to your marriage, and you have gotten used to living a certain lifestyle. That should not change because of the divorce. Working with a divorce lawyer who has extensive expertise and experience in high net worth cases will ensure that you get an adequate share of the assets. Such lawyers know how to gather and present facts and arguments that will get you an acceptable settlement.
Todd is a miracle worker who will work tirelessly for you and your family. He is one of the few attorneys i've met - who I earnestly trust to protect me, and who I am happy to refer to our friends and fellow family members. The Spodek Law Group is someone you want on your side, because they will treat you just like family. Todd and his team are available 24/7, and they always answered our calls. Even when we were being irrational, and crazy - they were calm and super helpful. Just call Todd. He gives you a free consultation and is very understanding.- Donna & Robert
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