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Getting divorced is never easy. However, when the parties have a large amount of assets, a divorce can be particularly challenging. There are extra challenges involved in making sure that you get a fair distribution of the assets. It’s also important to make sure you receive the assets that are useful and meaningful to you.
An equitable distribution of the assets
When the court distributes marital assets, they want to make an equitable distribution of the assets. That doesn’t mean exactly equal. That means they look at the entire circumstances, and they make a decision that they believe is fair to all of the parties. The court may look at a number of factors to determine what’s equitable:
- The income of each person at the time of the marriage and at the time of the divorce
- Whether it’s a long or short marriage
- Whether it’s best for children to stay in the marital home with the custodial parent
- The effect of one spouse losing health insurance or pension rights
- Spousal support
- Contributions to the marriage like helping the other spouse get an advanced degree
- The nature of an asset including its liquidity
- Difficulty valuing a business and the need to prevent a spouse from interfering in a closely-held business
- Whether either spouse dissipated assets
- Any other factor that’s relevant in the case
To prove a fair distribution of the assets, you demonstrate the contributions that you made to the marriage. You carefully prepare documentation of the value of each asset. This might mean getting appraisals or even working with accountants to value a business. Marital misconduct may play a role. It’s important to work with your attorney to carefully consider what the best evidence might be to support your position and how you might go about gathering this evidence.
What are the assets?
One of the biggest challenges in a high asset divorce case is getting the correct picture of the assets. Not all assets are marital. It can be a bit challenging to know whether a bank account, business or item of personal property counts. For example, if you receive an inheritance during your marriage, it’s typically separate property. However, if you co-mingle the separate assets with marital property, they might become marital. The same is true for property that you take into the marriage.
When you’re working on your case, it’s important to think about what assets you want and why. You may want to retain a business. You may not want to receive assets that you can’t use, because they’re not liquid. You can make a list of priorities. In some cases, you may not even be sure of what accounts or marital assets exist. Your attorney can help you understand the assets in your case and help you think through what you should ask the court for in terms of distribution.
Should I work with an attorney?
When you’re facing a high-asset divorce lawyer, the experience of a New York high asset divorce lawyer can help you build your case in a powerful way. An experienced divorce attorney knows what commonly happens in a New York divorce case. They may have experience with the judge that hears your case. This experience can help you make strategic decisions that work to your advantage.
If a certain type of evidence is particularly effective with the court, your attorney can work with you to build that evidence. If a strategy isn’t likely to be effective, your attorney can explain why. They can also help you handle tense negotiations with the other side. If you’re facing a high-asset divorce, our experienced New York high-asset divorce lawyers can help guide you through this challenge. Contact us today to talk about your case.