Assets To Be Divided in a High-Net Divorce
The thought of dividing up a large body of assets in a divorce can be stressful. This article will give you an idea of what to expect and how to prepare. In short, all marital assets will be divided. After the court figures out the worth of everything you and your spouse accumulated, that body of assets and debts will be split based on the contributions of each spouse (financial contributions, time contributions, etc.).
If you have high assets, having help from a high-net-worth divorce lawyer from Curran Moher Weis is critical.
First Things First
Start gathering documentation. Knowing all of the assets in question is a good starting place. Track down the following legal papers:
- Ownership papers for the property that belongs to you
- Businesses you own whole or in part
- Account statements for checking accounts, savings accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts
- The property you paid for personally
- Bills showing amounts owed for the property you are financing (vehicles, boats, houses)
Virginia Is an “Equitable Division” State
“Equitable division” states split marital assets based on what is equitable, not what is “half and half” or equal. This means it’s important to prove what is yours and why you are entitled to mutual property that was used and purchased jointly. If you, for instance, paid the earnest money deposit on the primary residence but the home is in both of your names, the court will consider who the deposit came from. High net worth divorces in Virginia can be more challenging simply because there are more assets and more value to comb through. And what rubric will be used to decide what is “fair” under the law? That is open to interpretation.
A Few Things to Consider
Now is a good time to begin thinking about the following:
- Can you pay down your debt with your personal cash reserves, so you are bringing less cash to the table to be divided? Confer with your high net worth divorce lawyer to ensure you handle this properly.
- Can your joint retirement account be divided tax-free before you reach retirement age? There is something called a QDRO that must be created to legally have the account divided. Your divorce lawyer will know how to file the QDRO and take care of everything, so you don’t get penalized by the IRS.
- Can you buy another house during the divorce if you’re the one who moved out? Be careful because your new home could be considered a marital asset as long as you are still legally married. Again, confer with your legal team first.
- Can you claim “Head of Household” or use child tax credits on your income tax return? To avoid penalties, this is another point to negotiate during and after the divorce. Many couples with joint custody rotate claiming these tax exemptions year-to-year.
Need a Fairfax High-Net Divorce Lawyer Near Your Location?
Curran Moher Weis has the experience to help you navigate the property division battlefield in a high net worth divorce case. Contact us today to see how pain-free the process can be with the right Virginia divorce lawyer in your corner.