What are Special Considerations for Dividing Property in a High Net Worth Divorce?
No divorce is simple, but divorcing as a high-net-worth couple can be extremely complex. Many high-net-worth couples have investments, property, accounts, or other financial assets that are not easily divided. When these spouses entered into the marriage already having accumulated assets or wealth, then the contribution of their spouse to this pre-owned property can muddy the waters when assessing whether property remains separate. Read on for a list of several special considerations for high-net-worth individuals who are divorcing in New Jersey, and contact an attorney with high-net-worth divorce experience if you have additional questions.
Valuing stock options or restricted stock
Many companies, especially start-ups, compensate their employees with an option to purchase stock in the future, or with stock that cannot be sold until certain conditions are met (such as having spent a certain length of time working for the company). When these forms of compensation are provided to a married spouse for past work, then they are usually considered marital property. Assigning a dollar value to these assets, however, can be tricky when the stock is being issued by a privately-held corporation.
Real estate holdings
Many couples have to consider which spouse will get the house in a divorce, and whether the house should be sold or if the remaining spouse can buy out their former spouse’s share of the home. When couples have invested in real estate, these questions can become even more complex, especially if selling the properties at the time of the divorce would provide low or no returns on the investment. Again, having an accurate valuation of these properties will be critical to assigning spouses a fair share of the property’s worth, especially if the property isn’t being sold immediately.
Businesses that spouses start while married are considered marital assets. Even if the business was created before the marriage, but marital assets were used to improve the value of the business, then a portion of the value of the business may still be owed to the other spouse as marital property. If the business-owning spouse is ready to sell, then the value of the business can be easily assessed and equitably divided between the spouses, but if the business owner wishes to continue to operate it, the couple should obtain a valuation of the business so that the non-owner spouse can receive their fair share paid with other assets.
If you’re considering filing for divorce in New Jersey, get the skilled and knowledgeable legal representation you need by contacting Union divorce attorney John B. D’Alessandro for a consultation, at 908-964-0102.