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Why Are High-Net-Worth Divorces More Complicated?

When married couples split up, their property is also divided, and this generally becomes more contentious when there is major wealth at stake. If you have over one million dollars in net worth, you are facing what is known as a high-net-worth divorce. While the court procedure is the same as for any contested divorce, the greater size and complexity of the assets involved can make the process far more challenging.

Couples with high net worth usually own such assets as these:

  • Real estate, including the marital home, investment properties and vacation homes
  • Interests in businesses
  • Retirement accounts, such as pensions, 401(k) plans and IRAs
  • Investments, including stocks, bonds and mutual funds
  • Luxury items, such as high-value cars, fine art and antiques
  • Intellectual property, such as patents, copyrights and trademarks

These assets usually require the expertise of professionals to accurately assess their worth. Since experts can and do disagree on items’ true values, there are usually multiple experts involved. In addition, a forensic accountant may be needed to uncover suspected hidden assets or debts. A divorce attorney familiar with high-net-worth divorce cases will have working relationships with a range of experts and will be able to assemble a team that can properly inventory and evaluate your assets.

Another complication of a high-net-worth divorce is in the awarding of alimony. One of the factors a judge will apply when deciding whether to grant alimony is the standard of living established in the marriage. The judge will also determine the likelihood that each party can maintain a reasonably comparable standard of living after the divorce. High-net-worth individuals are accustomed to a higher standard of living, so one spouse might therefore be awarded a greater alimony award than in a standard divorce.

The financial resources of the spouses will also be considered in the determination of child support. Additionally, in New Jersey, child support guidelines state that if the combined net income of the parents is more than $187,200 per year, the court has the discretion to award a supplementary award based on the excess income. This supplementary award can vary greatly based on the total value of the spouses’ income and property holdings.

At the Law Offices of Kisha M. Hebbon, LLC in Somerset, we understand the complexities involved in New Jersey high-net-worth divorces. Our skilled attorneys will provide you with the efficient representation your case requires. To schedule a consultation, call us at 732-873-6464 or contact us online today.

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As you are aware, New Jersey Governor Murphy ordered all "non-essential businesses" to close as of 9:00 p.m. Saturday, March 21, 2020. In compliance with this directive, we have closed our office to the public. In compliance with the executive order, we will not have any staff on site. However, I will be working remotely. We also have a call service answering all calls to ensure our operations proceed smoothly. This will enable us to continue to be available to assist you. We are still accepting new cases and can conduct phone consultations. For existing clients, please note that all court dates are either being held telephonically or adjourned. We will keep you posted as soon as the court advises of the status of your matter. Your calls, emails, and correspondence will be answered in a timely and professional manner and we will continue to deliver the same quality of service our clients have come to expect from us.
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    Somerset, New Jersey 08873
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