Tom Brady and Gisele Bündchen. Jeff Bezos and MacKenzie Scott. Publicity and gossip aside, high net-worth divorces are not limited to celebrities and tech titans. In general, anyone who has $1 million or more in assets and plans to file for divorce will undergo a high-asset divorce.
With that amount of money and property on the line, such divorces require experienced and tough high-asset divorce lawyers. Fait & DiLima, LLP, are renown in Montgomery and Frederick Counties for their tenacity in this arena. Below, they answer the most frequently asked questions regarding high-asset divorces.
If I Have a Prenuptial Agreement, Do I Still Need an Attorney?
Yes. Even if you have a prenuptial agreement, you will need high net-worth divorce attorneys to represent you in a divorce. The stakes are too great to depend solely on the prenuptial agreement.
Your spouse may contest the prenup, claiming they signed it under duress. Or, you may discover your spouse made fraudulent statements or withheld information in the agreement, which will invalidate it. Or, many years may have gone by since the prenup was created, and the agreement does not adequately address your financial situation today.
How Do I Protect My Assets?
Maryland is an equitable distribution state, which means property is not split equally in a divorce. Rather, the court will determine what is a fair division. Homes, furnishings, real estate, and automobiles are items that a couple typically co-own. You and your spouse may also have joint banking and investment accounts. The court will determine how all of these assets will be divided.
Property that you owned before your marriage remains your property. If you received an inheritance during your marriage, the court will likely exclude the inheritance from the marital property column, but there are exceptions, so it is important to consult with a high-asset divorce attorney in advance.
Before speaking to an attorney, make a list of all your individual and joint assets. Include debts that you or your spouse have. Bring the list to your meeting. It will help the attorney determine the best plan of action to protect your assets now and in the long term. For more practical suggestions, check out the free divorce kit from Fait & DiLima, LLP.
How Do I Protect My Children’s Future?
Children are innocent victims in a divorce. Protecting them now and in the future is a parent’s utmost concern. In addition to arranging child custody and visitation schedules , high net-worth divorce lawyers will also factor in child support and lifestyle maintenance for the children, such as costs for hobbies and sports, school fees, college tuition, medical costs, trusts, and so forth.
To protect your children’s mental health during this difficult time, they may benefit from speaking to a trusted adult. A school counselor, favorite teacher, religious leader, or therapist can help them process the family’s breakup and suggest healthy ways to cope.
How Do We Divide the Business?
For couples who own businesses, the most common option is to liquidate the business and split the proceeds. Another option is for one spouse to buy out the other spouse’s interest. A third alternative is for the spouses to remain co-owners after the divorce. The debts and tax burdens of the business must be part of the conversation.
Taking into consideration that each choice involves significant time and money, experienced high-asset divorce lawyers will advise you on which decision will be appropriate for your situation.
Will My Retirement Be Jeopardized?
While getting through the divorce and facing the initial aftermath are important, it is critical that you protect your retirement. Federal laws determine how pensions and retirement accounts are divided in a divorce. If you and your spouse have an estate plan, you will need the services of a high-asset divorce attorney to ensure you receive an equitable settlement when the plan is divided.
Additionally, knowledgeable high net-worth divorce lawyers will search for hidden assets that your spouse may try to conceal. Any extra money that is found will be added to the divorce settlement, which may contribute considerably to your retirement accounts.
Fait & DiLima, LLP: Bold Approaches, Effective Resolutions
If you are facing a high-asset divorce, it’s time to take strategic action. Your first step is to contact the high-asset divorce lawyers at Fait & DiLima, LLP. With more than 50 years of collective experience, we have successfully represented numerous clients in divorce court. We are skilled at negotiating settlements for high net-worth clients.
We believe you should know your rights and what to expect from legal arrangements, especially in a high-asset divorce settlement. With offices in Rockville and Frederick, we serve clients throughout Maryland. Call us today at (301) 251-0100 or complete our online form to schedule a consultation. For your convenience, we offer in-person and online meetings.
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The information in this blog post (“post”) is provided for general informational purposes only and may not reflect the current law in your jurisdiction. No information in this post should be construed as legal advice from the individual author or the law firm, nor is it intended to be a substitute for legal counsel on any subject matter. No reader of this post should act or refrain from acting based on any information included in or accessible through this post without seeking the appropriate legal or other professional advice on the particular facts and circumstances at issue from a lawyer licensed in the recipient’s state, country, or other appropriate licensing jurisdiction.
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Rockville, MD 20850