Not every family law firm regularly handles cases involving complex, high-value assets. When you call DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC, you can trust that our attorneys have the experience needed to successfully and skillfully represent you in a high net worth divorce. If you believe that divorce may be in your future, do not wait to call and schedule a consultation right away.
Complex Property and Asset Division
Arizona law presumes that all property and assets acquired during a marriage are community property that spouses should divide equally in a divorce. While dividing a bank account with $5,000 down the middle may seem simple, such a division can present substantial difficulties when a couple has complex property and assets, such as:
- Pensions, 401(k) accounts, and IRA accounts
- Investment portfolios
- Multiple homes and vacation properties
- Residential and/or commercial investment properties
- Stock options and bonds
- High-end vehicles, artwork, jewelry, and other collections
In many situations, you may need to hire an appraiser to determine the value of collectibles and properties. An attorney can also assist with the complex paperwork involved in dividing retirement benefits.
Another issue that a spouse may have in this situation is simply identifying all of the assets. In some situations, people with significant wealth may open offshore accounts and or otherwise try to conceal assets. An experienced attorney can work to identify all marital property and assets to ensure that you get your fair share of the community property.
Many couples with a high net worth have interests in one or multiple businesses. Whether you or your spouse is a partner, an LLC manager, or a shareholder in a major corporation, you must often divide such business interests just like other assets. Sometimes, complicated buy-sell agreements may apply to divorce, or spouses must decide what to do about a business they own together. If you own a company with your spouse, consider these options:
- Sell the business and divide the profits
- One spouse buys out the other by foregoing other assets
- The spouses continue to own the business together
Our attorneys can help you carefully consider all of your options to ensure you select the most beneficial route when it comes to the division of business interests.
Child and Spousal Support
Courts will generally base child support calculations on the respective income of each parent. A parent who earns more will likely need to pay some amount of child support based on the formula set out by state law. However, when a child is used to a particularly high standard of living, the amount of child support according to the standard calculations may not support that standard of living, especially if the parent receiving support did not work. In this situation, your attorney can petition the court to deviate from the usual formula. Section 20 of the child support guidelines allows the court to deviate from the guidelines and order additional child support if it finds the increase is in the best interests of the child given all relevant factors, and that not deviating would prove unjust under the circumstances.
Another common issue in high net worth divorces is spousal support (also called spousal maintenance). Often, if one spouse earns enough to build up significant wealth, the other spouse may not work full-time or at all. If the marriage ends, the spouse who did not develop a career may not have the ability to even cover basic expenses after leaving a marriage that provided everything in excess. This spouse may request a substantial amount of spousal support, which the other spouse will often try to fight. No matter what side of this battle you are on, you need a lawyer who will ensure you receive a fair spousal support determination given the circumstances.
Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements
When one or both people have high net worth going into a marriage, they will often draft and sign a prenuptial agreement. Spouses can also draft a postnuptial agreement after they marry. In either case, these agreements can address many issues should a divorce occur, including property division, inheritances, and spousal maintenance. However, just because you signed a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement does not mean the divorce will play out exactly as the agreement states.
These agreements are not always fully enforceable. A skilled attorney will review the agreement and the circumstances under which you signed to determine whether you can fight against certain terms that limit what you take from the divorce. On the other hand, we can also challenge a spouse who claims a valid agreement is unenforceable. As you can imagine, divorces involving such agreements can grow highly complicated very quickly.
Consult Our Experienced Phoenix High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers Today
Divorce is difficult enough, and it becomes substantially more stressful when spouses have a high net worth. You need a skilled attorney whom you can trust to properly address all of the complex issues that arise in this type of situation. You can find the assistance and representation you need at the law firm of DeShon Laraye Pullen PLC.
DeShon Pullen is certified by the State Bar of Arizona as a Family Law Specialist, and our team of attorneys knows how to handle any type of divorce, whether it is a simple or complicated matter. If you would like more information, call our office at (800) 409-0262 or contact us online to schedule your initial consultation.