High net worth divorces are divorces where one or both of the parties have acquired significant liquid assets or property and/or where one or both of the parties has a substantial income. While all divorces can be difficult from an emotional and financial standpoint, high-net-worth divorces can be even more trying because of the assets involved and often the disparity in income between the parties.

In New York State, the “equitable distribution” of marital assets is often a major issue in high-net-worth divorces. Equitable distribution does not mean equal distribution, however, courts seek to divide marital assets in a fair and just manner. High net worth divorces often entail locating and identifying assets, determining if assets are separate or marital property or a combination of both, the valuation of the assets, and distribution of these assets. While this process may seem simple enough, that is not the case in high-net-worth divorces. Depending on the assets, this process may require sophisticated legal counsel.

Financial and valuation experts are often retained in high net worth divorces for various purposes. It is important that you seek counsel that is familiar with the processes used and the reports that are generated by these expert witnesses. Whether the expert is hired to assist you or your spouse or they are hired as a neutral evaluator, it is important to retain an attorney who understands the valuation methods used by the expert and whether the methods are generally accepted for the asset or assets being valued.

Other issues for concern in high net-worth divorces are spousal maintenance and child support. This is especially true when one spouse is self-employed or works for a family or other closely held business. The determination of that spouse’s income is often met with skepticism. While attorneys are not ethically permitted to give tax advice to clients, it is important that an individual involved in a high net-worth divorce retain an attorney that has a strong understanding of tax-related matters.

Andrew H. Wood, Esq., is an experienced high net-worth divorce lawyer in Albany, New York who has represented clients throughout New York State. He has represented numerous business owners, high-net-worth individuals and professionals in most fields. His legal counsel is regularly sought in matters involving family and/or closely held business concerns, partnership interests, real estate, deferred compensation plans and compensation plans involving stock options and other benefits.

Contact Andrew H. Wood, Esq. by phone at (518) 694-8875 or email at andrew@awoodesq.com to schedule a consultation and discuss the intricacies of your high net worth divorce and formulate a plan to move your divorce forward without unnecessary delay.

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