High Asset Divorce
Kudos to you – it took a lot of time and energy to get where you are today! You are now financially well off, have enough to send your children to college but you don’t want to stay married, however you’d like to come out of the divorce in the best financial situation possible. The first step to unraveling your married life, is to hire the right attorney. It is important to hire someone knowledgeable and trustworthy. At Thomas Roughneen & Associates, we use our expertise in high asset divorce to look out for your best interests.
The first step in any high income, high asset divorce is to evaluate the assets. While this may cost some money, in the end it will be worth it. An accurate evaluation of the business, the retirement accounts, the real estate and any other assets you may have will enable you and your attorney to negotiate a reasonable settlement. Remember, knowledge is power!
Once the assets have been evaluated, it’s time to get to work. Most high asset divorce cases settle. That’s why it’s important to have an attorney that is a good negotiator who has drafted many complicated settlement agreements. For example, if you have stock options, they don’t vest as soon as they are received. Stock options vest over time and the final agreement must account for the stocks received even after the Judgment of Divorce has been finalized.
Be aware of the applicable law. New Jersey has various statutes that address alimony, equitable distribution and child support. High asset divorces have many nuances that do not apply in an average divorce such as determining child support when the parties meet the income threshold. Therefore, it’s important to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable regarding applicable statutes and case law.
Consult a financial advisor and/or a tax preparer. While an attorney may be knowledgeable regarding the law that affects your case, a tax preparer or financial advisor will guide you through any tax consequences that will affect your settlement. During the last few years, tax laws have changed regarding divorce. Alimony, on a federal level, used to be tax deductible to the payor spouse and considered income to the payee spouse. That is no longer the case, however, at the state level this law has not changed. Tax issues such as these are best discussed with an accountant, so you are properly prepared during negotiations and when it’s time to file your taxes.
If you have inherited assets, premarital assets, or a trust account, it is best to have an attorney that will help you preserve those assets. Those assets may have generated income for the family in the past. It is important to consider whether the income from the assets should be part of equitable distribution or the asset should remain untouched.
At Thomas Roughneen & Associates, we believe that knowledge is power! Our skilled team is here to help you obtain that power during your high asset divorce. For information or to ask questions, visit at www.citizensoldierlaw.com or call us at 973-937-6040.