High Net Worth Divorce Attorney in Louisville
Going through a divorce is always an emotionally draining process. Dissolving a marriage is a major life change, and for divorcing spouses, there is a great amount of uncertainty about their future. For couples who have significant assets, the stakes are much higher, and the process can be much more stressful. Many high net worth couples have complicated assets that are not easy to properly evaluate and divide, and there are many other issues that often need to be dealt with as well. When this is the case, you need to work with a divorce lawyer with the knowledge, experience, and insights to effectively handle high asset marital estates and the accompanying issues involved.
Since 1999, the attorneys at John H. Ruby & Associates have helped countless clients with divorce and other family legal matters in Kentucky. Our lawyers have in-depth knowledge of this area of the law, and we work closely with our clients to provide skilled legal guidance and moral support during this difficult time. We also have extensive experience with many related legal matters that often arise during a high net worth divorce; such as business law, commercial and business disputes, and estate planning.
We have a client-centered approach, and our goal is to settle your divorce favorably and amicably, and in a way that fully protects your financial future. Our depth of understanding of the complexities of the issues that frequently arise with high asset divorces allows us to develop practical and innovative solutions designed to fit our clients’ needs and goals. Oftentimes, these solutions can help satisfy all parties involved without the need for a costly and protracted court battle. That being said, if your spouse is not willing to be reasonable, we are ready and able to aggressively advocate for your rights and interests through litigation.
Asset Distribution for High Net Worth Divorces in Kentucky
Dividing the marital estate in a high asset divorce can be challenging because of the complicated assets that are at play. Some examples include:
Family-Owned or Closely-Held Businesses
Many high net worth couples have small businesses that are family-owned or just have a handful of owners, as well as professional practices. In some cases, the spouses may also be business partners, which often make things more complicated when they are divorcing. When either of the spouses own a small business or they own one together, there may be questions such as whether or not the business should even be part of the marital estate, and of course, how much the business is worth.
If either or both spouses have a small business of their own, or one or both has a position in a larger organization, there may be some complex business arrangements that need to be factored into the divorce settlement. Examples may include stock options, deferred compensation, and partnership agreements that may restrict a spouse from becoming a partner in a small business.
Real Estate Holdings
Couples with significant assets often own multiple pieces of real estate. In addition to the marital home, there may be a second or third (vacation) home and various types of investment property such as condos or townhomes, single family homes, apartment buildings, and commercial real estate.
High net worth couples frequently have investments in stocks, bonds, trusts, annuities, international investments, and other complex investments. These assets need to be examined in detail to determine both the current and future values they represent.
Some assets are more unique and may require consultation from industry experts to determine their value. Examples of unique investments may include art collections, classic automobiles, and expensive jewelry.
Kentucky has a long and proud equestrian heritage. Those in the Bluegrass State who own significant assets often have equine interests. In order to accurately value equine assets, these assets will need to be evaluated by an experienced equine appraiser who understands the various breeds of horses and the proper values of each breed. When this issue arises, we can call on experts in the equine industry to serve our clients.
One asset that can be complicated with divorcing couples in all income levels is retirement accounts. Many people mistakenly believe that, because they are individual retirement accounts, they are not part of the marital estate. In actuality, the portion of a retirement account that was accumulated during the marriage generally belongs to both spouses. To properly divide a retirement account, however, you will most likely need a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO). QDROs are complicated documents that must be worded carefully and drafted precisely in a way that meets all the legal requirements.
Other Complex Divorce Issues for High Asset Couples
In addition to the division of assets, there are several other issues that frequently need to be dealt with during a high net worth divorce:
- Child Support: Kentucky has child support guidelines to determine how much is paid based on the incomes of each parent. However, when the parents’ combined income is $180,000 or higher, these guidelines no longer apply. When this is the case, the amount of child support paid depends largely on the established standard of living during the marriage and other specific factors.
- Alimony/Spousal Support: If there is a significant difference in income between the two spouses, there is a good chance that alimony will be part of the divorce settlement. With high net worth divorces, the amount of spousal support paid may vary widely from case to case based on various specific factors.
- Discovery of Hidden Assets: There are times when one spouse tries to hide assets or income streams from the other. When this is suspected, a forensic accountant may be brought in to uncover hidden assets that should be included in the marital estate.
- Marital Agreements: In many marriages in which one or both spouses have a high net worth, a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement may have been signed. Most financial aspects of the divorce may be covered by a marital agreement (with child support being a notable exception), and if the agreement is legally enforceable, in will be used as a guideline to help determine the division of assets, alimony, and other financial issues.
- Tax Implications of the Divorce: High net worth couples typically have assets with complicated tax structures. And although divorce itself is a tax-neutral event, the division of complex assets will almost certainly incur various tax consequences. For this reason, it is important to consult with a tax professional during the divorce process to help ensure that your tax liability exposure is minimized.
Contact the Experienced High Net Worth Divorce Attorneys at John H. Ruby and Associates
High asset divorces can get extremely complicated, and you need someone in your corner who thoroughly understands these issues and will work hard to fully protect your rights and interests. To schedule an initial consultation with one of our attorneys, call John H. Ruby & Associates today at 502-895-2626 or message us through our web contact form. You may also stop by our Louisville office in person at your convenience.