Common Issues in High Net Worth Divorces
If you or your spouse has a high net worth in Charlotte, your divorce might go a little differently compared to most others. Because there are high-value assets to consider, the entire process can become more complicated. That being said, a high-net-worth divorce does not always need to be stressful and complicated. There are a number of other factors that can complicate divorces that may be independent of your wealth. At the end of the day, it is important to simply be aware of these unique issues that may arise during a high net worth divorce in North Carolina.
Of course, the situation becomes considerably less complicated when you can rely on a qualified, experienced divorce lawyer in Charlotte. These professionals can approach your divorce with efficiency and a wealth of experience. With a legal expert by your side, even the most complicated issues that commonly surround high net worth divorces can be overcome.Spouses May Try to Hide Assets
When you are dealing with a high net worth divorce in Mecklenburg County, there is a good chance that one or both spouses will try to hide certain assets. Some assets are impossible to hide, such as cars or houses. In other situations, a crafty spouse may try to conceal financial assets with a variety of strategies. A simple, yet effective method is to simply stow away cash in a safety deposit box and then claim to have no idea where the money went.
It is important to understand that this behavior is highly illegal in the Tar Heel State. When you conceal assets from your spouse, you are essentially defrauding them. Both spouses have what is known as a fiduciary duty to one another. This means that you must disclose all financial information with your spouse until the divorce is finalized.
If you think that your spouse may be hiding assets from you during a divorce, there are a number of potential strategies you can employ. A skilled divorce attorney may be able to get to the bottom of the situation. If that does not work, you can hire a forensic accountant who will carefully follow the money trail. Many spouses who attempt to conceal assets eventually face legal consequences.Commingled Assets
Another potential source of conflict has to do with “commingled assets.” In a clear and straightforward divorce, assets are divided into two sections:
- Separate Property: As the name implies, these assets are kept separate from the distribution of assets in a North Carolina divorce. If you have assets before the marriage took place, these assets will not be eligible for distribution.
- Marital Property: These assets belong to both spouses, and they are distributed accordingly. Any asset that you accumulated over the course of your marriage is marital property.
Commingling occurs when these two assets are mixed together. For example, inheritances are classified as separate property, regardless of whether inheritance payments were received before or during the marriage. However, if you took your inheritance money and used it to buy a house, it can get mixed up with marital property. When assets are commingled in this manner, it becomes quite difficult to unravel and separate them. This is one of the most time-consuming and complicated aspects of a high net worth divorce in Mecklenburg County.Dividing Investments
Couples with high net worth often have extensive investment portfolios. In many situations, the majority of a couple’s assets may be tied up in stocks, dividends, and other investments. So, how are these investments divided? Like any other marital property, an investment is distributed in an equitable manner. However, the court will try to ensure that both spouses are left with a relatively stable investment portfolio. In other words, one spouse will not be left with a number of high-risk investments while the other is left with stable investments. This would not be fair or equitable in the eyes of the Mecklenburg County Clerk of Superior Court.The Importance of Hiring an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you are dealing with a high net worth situation, it is very important to enlist the help of an experienced divorce attorney in North Carolina. In the case of a relatively simple divorce with few assets, a divorce attorney might not even be necessary for some couples. On the other hand, you need a legal professional to help you when there is significant property at stake. Reach out to Arnold & Smith, PLLC today, and we can help you deal with your divorce and move on to the next chapter of your life.