Divorce is trying under even the best of circumstances. But when couples have large assets, the divorce just became much more challenging. High asset divorces present certain problems that couples cannot solve on their own. Also, divorce attorneys who have never handled a high asset divorce might make critical errors that can cost their clients money.
You Own a Business
Many high net worth individuals have considerable business assets. They might even work for the business. This is true, for example, of a couple that is married and owns a law firm, or a couple that has founded a restaurant or other business. Divorce creates many problems:
- You need to properly value the business so that you can divide it under Ohio’s divorce laws. There are many ways to value a business, and some methods could end up penalizing you later.
- You need to decide whether one spouse will get the entire business or whether you will split it. Many problems arise, especially if both spouses also work for the business.
- You might need to sell the business, which can be challenging depending on the niche you occupy and the state of the business environment.
Rather than come to an oral agreement about how to divide the business, you should consult with a seasoned high asset divorce attorney for more information about valuation and how to protect your investment.
You Have Different Types of Assets
Not all assets are the same. For example, some assets like real estate will cost money to own. You will need to pay taxes, insurance, and keep up with any necessary repairs. Other assets, like cash or stock, require that you nothing or next to nothing.
When divorcing, you need to know which assets to request as part of the property distribution. There are many factors to consider, such as:
- How close you are to retirement
- Whether you want to continue working after divorce
- How involved you want to be with your investments
- Tax considerations
Even if you get 50% of the marital property, the type of property you take could make a big difference in your financial security going forward. A seasoned high asset divorce attorney can walk you through your choices.
You Suspect Your Spouse is Hiding Assets
Under Ohio law, most property acquired while married will be marital and must be divided. It is not unusual in a high asset divorce for one spouse to try and hide assets, sometimes offshore. If your spouse can successfully hide these assets, they can unfairly get more than they are entitled to.
Finding hidden assets is difficult. You can’t expect your spouse to admit to what they owe. Also, some accounts might be in someone else’s name, like a lawyer’s, to provide another layer of secrecy.
To find hidden assets, you need an attorney who is experienced working with forensic accountants and other professionals to investigate your spouse’s tax returns and identify suspicious sources of income. A divorce lawyer without the necessary experience might not know what to look for and be unable to find all hidden assets.
You Need to Divide Retirement Accounts
Pension plans and other retirement accounts can qualify as marital assets and could represent considerable sums of money. As part of the property division in your divorce, you might end up receiving half of your spouse’s retirement benefits.
However, dividing these accounts is complicated. Early withdrawal penalties and taxes can apply if you do not divide the retirement account in the proper manner, so working with a lawyer who has handled Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDRO) is vital. We have substantial experience making sure that your account is set up properly so that you do not owe unnecessary penalties and taxes.
Speak to a Columbus High Asset Divorce Lawyer
If you are seeking a divorce and have substantial assets, then you need to work with a lawyer who understands the unique challenges this type of divorce presents.
At Lawrence Law Office, we can represent you in your high asset divorce. Our team has experience in all facets, including finding hidden assets and creating a financial plan that allows you to achieve independence as you strike out on your own.
Please contact us today. You can schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys by calling or filling out our online contact sheet.