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Special considerations when facing a high-asset divorce

On Behalf of | Oct 21, 2023 | Divorce

Divorce becomes even more complex when a couple shares significant assets. You may face this situation if you own a business, real estate holdings, extensive investments or other valuables.

Understanding the unique considerations of high-asset divorce can help you achieve an equitable resolution.

Property valuation

You and your spouse must obtain accurate values for your various assets. As you prepare for divorce, you may need to hire a professional appraiser who specializes in the items in question.

Hidden assets

In some high-asset divorces, one party attempts to conceal assets to prevent the court from including them in the divorce settlement. Exercising diligence and transparency during the discovery process can help you uncover any hidden assets if you suspect your spouse may take this route.

Tax implications

Dividing valuable property often has significant tax implications. Understanding these consequences can prevent unexpected financial burdens and potentially reduce tax liabilities.

According to the IRS, you may need to file a gift tax form if your former spouse transfers property to you in your divorce agreement. This tax applies to gifts exceeding $17,000 for 2023 and ranges from 18% to 40%.

Business interests

If one or both spouses own all or part of a business, you must take steps to untangle these interests to split them fairly. Obtain a professional value assessment and either decide on buyout terms or explore ways to share business holdings after divorce.

Prenuptial agreements

Many high-asset marriages involve a prenuptial agreement. A well-drafted contract provides a clear roadmap for asset division. If you do not have this document in place, you and your spouse may negotiate a postnuptial agreement to serve the same purpose.

Spousal support

Either spouse may request support in a divorce. Louisiana courts consider a range of factors to determine whether the person requires alimony, including:

  • Financial need
  • Age
  • Health status
  • Child custody

Calculating fair support amounts can be challenging. You may need to negotiate with your spouse to determine the most appropriate terms.

Investment protection

Preservation of investments like stocks, bonds and retirement accounts is another concern for high-asset couples. Your divorce agreement must divide these holdings fairly to ensure a solid financial future for both partners.

Prioritizing fair and amicable property division can help both parties move forward with their lives. Many high-asset couples prefer to negotiate outside of court to protect their privacy in a divorce.

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