High-asset divorce

Toms River High-Asset Divorce Lawyers

Divorces involving $1 million or more in wealth and assets are considered high-asset divorces. High-net-worth divorces are often exceedingly complex and lengthy, especially when a spouse has higher financial standing. High-asset divorces involve more complicated financial investments, business interests, and real estate holdings. For these reasons, having a Toms River high-asset divorce lawyer is essential.

How Are High-Asset Divorces Different?

Though each divorce is unique, high-asset divorces differ significantly from traditional proceedings due to several factors, including but not limited to the following:

  • Expense: High-asset divorces are more costly due to the number of high-value assets, business ownership or interests, and investments, which require expensive services such as forensic accounting, valuation, and other experts, as well as additional attorney fees.
  • Length: High-asset divorces require significantly more time to identify, locate, and establish the value of all assets and interests.
  • Taxes: When divorcing, couples are required to pay taxes when selling or redistributing assets, which are usually considerable given the high number of assets and their value.
  • Properties: Assets must be identified as one of two categories, marital or separate property, before they are divided between spouses. In high-asset divorces, this process takes much longer as they often involve multiple domestic and international financial accounts, investments, business interests, and real estate.
  • Mediation: While any New Jersey divorce can be resolved through mediation, nearly all couples in high-asset divorces choose to conduct the proceedings through private mediation. Courtroom divorces become public records, making a couple’s holdings and final settlement available to anyone who asks. Mediation sessions are confidential and protect the extent of divorcing couples’ financial and physical assets. They also provide a quicker and less expensive divorce.

What Additional Assets Are Common in a High-Net-Worth Divorce?

Divorce involves some level of the same assets, such as bank accounts, vehicles, and real estate property. The same is true of high-asset divorces, but on a grander scale, with much higher assets and increased value. Additional types of assets typical of high-asset divorces include:

  • Boats
  • Business investments
  • Business ownership
  • Closely held enterprises
  • Domestic and international bank accounts
  • Family heirlooms
  • Fine art
  • High-dollar retirement accounts or pensions
  • High-value primary residence
  • Intellectual property
  • Long-term employment incentives
  • Offshore investments
  • Portfolios of other investments
  • Real estate holdings other than residences
  • Rental property
  • Stock options and investments
  • Trust funds
  • Vacation residences
  • Vehicles

Many high-asset divorces involve family-owned businesses or closely held corporations. Under New Jersey’s equitable distribution laws, family businesses are considered marital property during divorce, even if owned by only one spouse. Couples in high-asset divorces commonly sell many high-value assets and divide the profits, usually those of sentimental value too costly to maintain individually or to pay off some of the marital debt.

How Are Assets Divided in New Jersey?

New Jersey is an equitable property state, meaning assets are divided fairly, not necessarily equally. All assets and debts are identified as either marital or separate property. Marital property refers to assets and debts acquired and enjoyed by both spouses during the marriage and are subject to division, including but not limited to:

  • Bank accounts and other finances
  • Businesses and business interests
  • Fine art
  • Investments
  • Loans
  • Real estate, such as the marital home, vacation residences, and rental properties
  • Retirement accounts
  • Vehicles and boats

Separate property refers to assets or debts solely owned by one spouse, acquired before or during the marriage. Separate property is generally not subject to division during divorce, provided the asset was not to obtain marital property, such as using an inheritance to purchase a jointly owned asset. If so, it can be considered marital property by the courts and subject to division.

High-asset divorces often involve comprehensive pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreements, particularly if one or both spouses maintained significant wealth and assets prior to the marriage. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements specify the ownership of certain property and instructions on how it is to be distributed in the event of a divorce, which the courts and divorcing couples are required to comply with.

How Are Business Interests Distributed in High-Asset Divorces?

Division of business ownership or interests is one of the most challenging hurdles in high-asset divorces, particularly in closely held or longstanding family businesses, based on several factors, such as:

  • Determining the value of family or closely held businesses.
  • Distributing ownership and associated interests.
  • Ascertaining business operations once the divorce is finalized.
  • Establishing a division of assets following the sale of a business.
  • Establishing parameters for continuing to operate a business jointly.

In high-asset divorces, it is not uncommon for spouses to attempt hiding assets within business enterprises, typically if one spouse is more involved in business operations than the other. Locating hidden assets in closely held businesses is a complex process requiring investigation during divorce.

Hidden assets are much more common in high-asset divorces. High-net-worth individuals often have multiple forms of assets in many locations, such as out-of-state and offshore bank accounts, businesses, real estate, and investments, which require considerable time to locate and value.

Hidden assets are one reason hiring an experienced lawyer is crucial in high-asset divorces. Lawyers with an extensive background in high-asset divorces have a well-developed network of experts to locate and value hidden assets. High-asset divorces typically require experts such as forensic accountants with the experience and skill set to identify financial irregularities and provide valuable testimony and valuation appraisers who can determine worth, particularly in large and complex estates.

Is Alimony Automatic in High-Asset Divorces?

High-asset divorces are among the most contentious for many reasons, but alimony is often the most hotly contested. One spouse often earns more than the other in high-asset marriages, which can drastically affect the other’s standard of living after divorce. Because of this, one spouse is usually required to pay alimony for a period of time during or after the divorce. The amount and length of time alimony is required is determined by the courts, based on several factors that include:

  • The length of the marriage.
  • Marital standard of living.
  • Each spouse’s current income.
  • Each spouse’s earning ability following the divorce.
  • Current age and health of both spouses.
  • Each spouse’s marital contributions.
  • Both spouses’ assets and liabilities.
  • Alimony tax implications for each spouse.
  • Any other factors the court deems relevant.

Why Choose Zeigler Law Group, LLC for Your High-Asset Divorce Case

With the amount of money on the line in high-asset divorces, working with a knowledgeable and experienced divorce lawyer familiar with handling vast wealth and large estates is vital. A Toms River high-asset divorce lawyer can also file the proper paperwork, retain investigators and forensic and valuation experts, negotiate a settlement, and represent you in court if necessary.

Hiring a skilled, high-asset divorce lawyer can alleviate stress and anxiety, provide peace of mind that your case will be handled properly, and ensure the best possible outcome.

Hiring Zeigler Law Group, LLC for your high-asset divorce case offers numerous advantages that can significantly impact the outcome of your legal proceedings. With a wealth of experience handling complex divorce cases involving substantial assets, Zeigler Law Group, LLC brings a deep understanding of the intricate financial and legal aspects. Our team is dedicated to protecting your interests and ensuring a fair division of assets, including businesses, real estate, investments, and more. Our lawyers know how to navigate the complexities of high-asset divorces, including tax implications, valuation of assets, pre-nuptial agreements, and spousal support issues.

Moreover, our Toms River high-asset divorce lawyers handle each case with a personalized strategy, tailoring their approach to meet your specific needs and objectives. By choosing Zeigler Law Group, LLC, you can trust that your high-asset divorce case will be handled with professionalism, diligence, and a commitment to achieving the best possible outcome for you.

Our Toms River High-Asset Divorce Lawyers at Zeigler Law Group, LLC Represent High-Net-Worth Clients

If you have a high net worth and are considering divorce, you need a knowledgeable lawyer with experience handling large estates and wealth, such as our Toms River high-asset divorce lawyers at Zeigler Law Group, LLC. Call 732-361-4827 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Toms River, Red Bank, Princeton, and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients in Ocean County, Monmouth County, Mercer County, and Burlington County.

Contact Zeigler Law Group, LLC
Today To Get Started

Sonya K, Zeigler, Esq. and her team have a well-earned reputation for committed and fierce legal representation. Our firm is here to provide you with the best possible guidance. Call Zeigler Law Group, LLC, at 732-361-4827 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation. Located in Tom’s River, Red Bank, Princeton, and Mount Laurel, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout the surrounding areas.

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