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High-asset divorces can raise unique legal issues

On Behalf of | Oct 1, 2020 | Divorce

Any couple in the Los Angeles area who is going through a divorce or separation may face important and contentious legal issues. For example, if they have children, they will have to work out their differences with respect to child custody and support.

They may also have to handle some property division issues like who will keep the house or how to split a retirement plan according to California’s community property issues. One spouse may also be entitled to maintenance or alimony payments from the other spouse.

Couples with a high net worth will have significant property to divide

To some extent, the issues in a high-asset divorce are the same as those in any other divorce. However, high net worth couples will likely have a lot of assets that even those in the middle class or upper middle class may not have in their portfolios.

For example, the couple could own investment properties or investment accounts. Additionally, many couples with a lot of net worth acquired their wealth through their ownership in a business or professional practice. In some cases, they may own intellectual property, like the rights to a work of art or an invention.

Each one of these assets will have to be carefully tracked and evaluated to determine whether, and to what extent, they are subject to property division.

Moreover, these assets may be much harder to value than, for example, a relatively modest residence or a 401(k) with a definite cash value. The couple will likely have to have the help of experts in sorting out their finances.

Income will also be an important consideration

On a similar point, couples with a high net worth also may receive income from a variety of sources above and beyond their regular paycheck. As is the case with their property, determining how this income factors in to alimony and child support can require special legal attention.