Michigan High Asset Divorce Lawyers
What is high asset divorce? The term high asset divorce can be a bit misleading. It does not refer to the amount of money that you have in your bank accounts; instead, it refers to having any marital property with a high valuation. A high asset divorce often includes various high net worth assets, including multiple homes, business assets, or multiple types of financial assets.
Understanding divorces and how they are different from other types of divorces will help you make better decisions about your legal rights during this time. You want a divorce settlement that is fair and gets you the property you deserve. A high asset divorce lawyer can be of assistance in these cases.
What is considered a high asset divorce?
A high asset divorce usually occurs when one party to the marriage does not possess the same financial standing as their spouse. This can be caused by many reasons such as inheritance, investments, businesses, and more. These assets are discoverable in the process of filing for divorce in Michigan and other states.
When this often happens, it leads to arguments because of who should get what property and what is a fair distribution of property.
Many high net worth individuals spend their lives building up to become financially successful. When they decide to file for divorce, it can be not easy because of how much wealth was accumulated during the marriage.
It is essential to know what high assets are and how they play a role in high asset divorce. A family law and divorce lawyer can help.
What assets get divided in a divorce?
Common types of divorce assets include real estate, personal property, bank accounts, and other financial assets, small business assets, and retirement funds. These are generally considered marital assets if accumulated during the term of the marriage.
Assets are divided in a divorce when high net worth individuals or wealthy people separate. The Court determines the division of assets, and there are two types of property that can be divided: marital property and separate property.
What are marital assets?
Marital assets are property that was acquired after the parties were married. Assets considered marital property would be subject to division in a divorce case.
This property in Michigan is divided equitably. Generally, the Court will attempt to divide this property as equally as possible.
An experienced family law attorney can help you determine marital property and what property should be separate.
Does your state have Community Assets in a divorce case?
Some states are, such as California, Arizona, and Texas, are community property states. In these states, all of the assets accumulated while married are considered community assets. These states have particular rules when dealing with the disposition of community assets. Michigan is not a community property state, however.
What are considered separate assets?
Separate assets are property that is not considered marital. Often this is a property that one spouse acquired before the marriage. It can also include property that was gifted or inherited by one spouse during the marriage. Separate assets often require complex family law analysis to prove they should be the sole property of one spouse.
What is equitable division, and how is property divided in a Michigan divorce?
In Michigan, marital property is subject to equitable division. This means that property is divided fairly and reasonably.
A judge will assess what property belongs as marital property and what property is separate.
Spousal support payments
Spousal support is paid or payments designed to equalize one spouse’s income when there is a significant difference in income in long-term marriages. For example, for a divorce with higher assets, spousal support will likely be ordered.
This can become very complicated in high asset divorce cases. Often is high asset divorces, there are business interests where income can be challenging to determine. Often tax returns and other financial documents need to be reviewed.
It is not every day that couples conceal money from their spouse in high-asset marriages. In situations where an estate is large, uncovering financial conditions for both parties may be daunting.
Pensions and retirement accounts
A pension and retirement account can often be substantial in high asset divorces. First, you need to understand your rights under the various types of retirement accounts. These can include traditional pension plans, 401 k plans, SEP and Roth IRAs, and more. Each retirement account is different.
Specialized QDRO orders are required to divide these retirement funds so that the IRS will not tax the distribution to you or your spouse. An experienced family law lawyer can give legal advice on best dividing retirement accounts from the other spouse.
High asset divorce mistakes people make and how to avoid them
Parties in a high asset divorce situation often have more property at stake and can be more complicated. Therefore, it is essential to consult and retain a high asset divorce attorney to guide you through this process.
A high asset divorce lawyer can help you determine what assets need to be divided and how to present your case in a way you can maximize the property you retain after the divorce is finalized.
These are some common mistakes parties make in divorce with high assets.
Failing to Understand the property division laws in Michigan Properly
Most assets obtained after marriage are considered to be marital property in Michigan. Therefore, family law in the state is evident.
A divorce lawyer with experience dealing with high asset divorces can answer any questions or provide advice during the divorce process.
Trying to hide assets from your spouse
Some people try anything to avoid sharing with their spouses. For example, people transfer money or property to family members or conceal it in various devious ways.
These attempts to hide assets are often discovered and destroy your credibility with the Judge. For example, in Michigan, if it is determined you have hidden assets from your spouse in the divorce process, it is possible to lose 100% of that asset once discovered.
Although it is incredibly tempting to hide assets in high asset divorce cases, you are better served by hiring a high asset divorce attorney to protect your property.
Accepting unfavorable terms to be done with the divorce
Many people give up assets they didn’t necessarily need to because of a lack of understanding. Often a spouse wants to get it all done and move on. This can be a very costly mistake.
What seems relatively good at first might not hold up years later. Once a divorce is finalized, the terms can rarely be revisited. Therefore, it is vital to get the best agreement you can in your divorce.
Hiring the wrong divorce attorney
It is essential to have an experienced attorney dealing with financial matters in a high asset divorce case. An attorney specializing in parenting time may not be the proper attorney for a high asset divorce situation.
Often there are business assets that need to be valued and possibly sold. It would be best to have a lawyer who understands business assets, how they are used, valued, accounted for, and more.
Often one party is not forthcoming with financial information in the legal process of the divorce. An understanding of tax returns is essential. Often a bit of forensic accounting is necessary for this type of divorce. Forensic accountants try to recreate a spouse’s financial position from the limited information available to them. A forensic accountant can be very valuable to your case.
Probability of a Contested Divorce
Those with more net worth are much more likely to contest the divorce. Valuation appraisals are generally required for assets with high value and complexity.
Each spouse needs their expert to determine the total value of the assets. Additionally, those evaluators may help find investments that are sometimes overlooked or are missing.
Does a high asset divorce have to be contested?
No divorce needs to be contested. Uncontested divorces usually are handled in Michigan quickly and inexpensively, but these are not always likely. However, in a divorce with substantial assets, it is likely the divorce will be contested.
A contested divorce will involve substantial litigation, and having an experienced family law attorney is critical. Proper legal representation is vital.
All the standard issues of a divorce will be in dispute. The problem of child custody, child support, and parenting time will have to be litigated. This is in addition to the property assets already discussed.
Contact a high asset divorce attorney today!
Hiring an experienced family law attorney is critical in any high asset divorce. High asset divorce cases pose many issues that require a lawyer experienced with all manner of financial assets.
If you are contemplating getting married and have substantial assets, a prenuptial agreement is often advisable.
Bruce Law Firm is experienced in the legal process required to find hidden assets, determine valuations for high-value assets, dealing with the contentious issues often present in a high asset divorce.