New York High-Asset Divorce Lawyer

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In 2010, the state of New York went to a no-fault divorce system. While this arrangement sounds benign, in theory, it actually allows for much easier initiation of divorces. This can create hugely perverse incentives, especially in cases where one spouse has a high income or high net worth and the other spouse brought little or no assets to the marriage and has no real earning potential. In cases like these, it is absolutely imperative that the primary breadwinner in the marriage hire the best possible team of divorce attorneys to protect their rights, property and livelihood.

No-fault divorce creates cash and prizes for non-productive spouses

Under a no-fault divorce system, all that is needed to begin proceedings to dissolve the marriage is for one party to claim that there are irreconcilable conflicts present in the relationship. In the state of New York, it is required that these irreconcilable factors persist for at least six months. There are some minimal documentation and filing requirements. But beyond these, a divorce can essentially be initiated at any time by either spouse.

This can create a severe moral hazard for the spouse that does not produce any income or own any assets. Even though New York is a state that follows the equitable distribution concept of asset allocation in divorces, in practice, non-income producing spouses are often able to get half or more of the assets. This often times but not always puts the man at an extreme legal disadvantage. However, increasingly, high-earning women are being victimized by the extreme perverse incentives created by no-fault divorce. Regardless of one’s gender, if they are the high-earning spouse in a high-net-worth couple, it is crucial to hire a competent divorce attorney to avoid being stripped of assets and income.

The typical the non-income-producing spouse walks away with a third of the assets

Even in equitable distribution states, the typical non-productive spouse will walk away with one third of the assets. This becomes extremely problematic when considering the state of high-net-worth marriages. Take, for example, a couple that is worth $10,000,000. Assuming one spouse is essentially responsible for 100 percent of the acquisition of the couple’s wealth, the other spouse stands to make well over $3 million, at a minimum, from initiating a divorce. What’s more, if that spouse has little education or earning potential, the court is likely to view that as a reason to award even more money to the non-productive spouse.

It’s easy to see that in an example such as that above, the non-income-producing spouse now has absolutely tremendous incentive to initiate a divorce, for frivolous reasons or none at all. This is because they will stand to make more money in the simple act of divorce than they could reasonably expect to make over the course of their entire life. In cases like this, it cannot be stressed enough that the income-producing spouse needs to do everything in their power to ensure that their assets and income are protected. A strong legal defense team can ensure that, whatever money, assets and alimony are awarded to the other spouse, they will be on the lowest possible end of the award spectrum.

You probably won’t avoid giving your ex-spouse a big payday in a divorce, but a good legal team can help you keep most of what’s rightfully yours.