If you have searched the internet for “divorce lawyers near me,” it probably means you have a lot to lose in a divorce settlement or judgment. You may even find yourself wondering how high-asset divorces work. Know your rights and what to expect from your divorce by learning how high-asset divorces work in Maryland.
At Fait & DiLima, LLP, our legal team is dedicated to ensuring that you understand your rights and what to expect during your high-asset divorce. We also recognize that divorces can be emotionally draining and that each case is unique. Our high-asset divorce lawyers have years of experience advising clients and initiating the divorce process on their behalf. Our attorneys will be innovative, dynamic, proactive, strategic, and resourceful in representing you. Contact our office in Rockville or Frederick to arrange a consultation to discuss your case.
What Is a High-Asset Divorce?
Most divorce attorneys define a high-asset divorce as a dissolution proceeding that involves more than one million dollars in net liquid assets. You can calculate your net liquidity by adding up all your easily exchangeable assets and then subtracting all outstanding liabilities. Some common examples of liquid assets include:
- Mutual funds
- Money market funds
- Exchange-traded funds (ETFs)
- Treasury bills
- Treasury bonds
- Certificates of deposits
- Precious metals
What Is an Ultra-High-Asset Divorce?
Maryland divorce lawyers have witnessed an uptick in ultra-high-asset divorces in recent years. Ultra-high-asset divorces involve more than 30 million dollars in net liquid assets. These divorces tend to take longer than all others due to their high stakes and complexity. Some of the places you might find liquid assets during discovery include:
- Checking accounts
- Savings accounts
- Investment accounts
- Retirement accounts
- Money market accounts
- Cash management accounts
What Happens to Illiquid Assets During a High-Asset Divorce?
High-asset divorce cases almost always impact illiquid assets. Sometimes, the court may award an illiquid asset to one party. Otherwise, the judge may have no choice but to split ownership of an illiquid asset, a less preferable outcome fraught with potential complications. Some of the most common illiquid assets in high-asset divorces include:
- Real property
- Private equity
- Stock options
- Intellectual property
What Assets Are Affected by a High-Asset Divorce?
A high-asset divorce may affect any asset, depending on when and how a client acquired them. Maryland remains an “equitable distribution” state, which means that courts will look at several factors when dividing up “marital property,” including the parties’ educational, financial, and medical needs.
What Is Marital Property in Maryland?
In Maryland, marital property includes all assets accumulated during the marriage. Anything acquired before marriage or after separation remains the separate property of the individuals. Likewise, any property acquired by gift or inheritance during marriage counts as separate property.
How Do I Protect My Assets from a High-Asset Divorce?
One of the first things most married, high-asset clients ask us pertains to preserving wealth during a divorce. Fortunately, clients can protect their financial interests in a few different ways. Discover the best ways to guard your assets against a high-asset divorce below.
The best way to safeguard your financial future involves signing a prenuptial agreement before marriage. Maryland courts remain more amenable to the idea of upholding a prenuptial agreement because the parties execute it before solemnizing their union. Signing a prenuptial agreement clarifies what will happen to assets in the event of a contested or uncontested divorce.
Maryland courts also recognize postnuptial agreements. However, such contracts undergo additional scrutiny to ensure neither of the parties executed the document in response to undue influence or distress. Still, a postnuptial agreement provides additional financial protection, even if you sign a prenuptial agreement as well.
Couples who own a business together may wish to sign a shareholder agreement to dictate what will happen to their interests in the company in the event of a divorce. Married couples usually execute a shareholder agreement to acknowledge that the smooth functioning of the company should not suffer due to marital issues.
Common High-Asset Divorce Issues
Many issues seen in contested divorces also crop up in high-asset divorces. Explore some of the most common high-asset divorce issues below.
High-Asset Spousal Support
If you serve as the primary breadwinner for your family, you should expect high spousal support payments during the divorce proceedings.
While the court will look at various factors to determine alimony, most high-asset divorces result in high payments to help your spouse maintain a comfortable lifestyle. Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements may guide the settlement proceedings and the court’s decision.
High-Asset Child Support and Custody
High-asset divorces often involves minor children. Fortunately, the laws of Maryland protect the child custody interests of both parents, regardless of their relative ability to support the children.
Fait & DiLima, LLP | Your Divorce Lawyers Near Me
Preserve your financial future by engaging experienced high-asset divorce attorneys to protect your interests. Parties to a divorce have a lot on the line, especially when the court recognizes marital property of seven digits or more.
Fait & DiLima, LLP provides skilled legal counsel and representation to clients in Montgomery and Frederick Counties and the surrounding areas. Contact our Rockville divorce attorneys to discuss your high-asset divorce or planning needs. We are committed to compassionately guiding you through Maryland’s complex high-asset divorce law process. If you are ready to start a divorce case with a trustworthy lawyer, our team at Fait & DiLima can start the paperwork and file on your behalf. Whether you are seeking child support, custody, spousal support, or are going through a high-asset divorce, our team will work hard to ensure you get the best outcome possible.
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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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One Church Street, Suite 800
Rockville, MD 20850