High Asset Divorce Needs Skilled Legal Counsel

A high-asset divorce can complicate property division

On Behalf of | May 6, 2022 | Firm News |

Most divorces deal with similar issues, such as alimony, child support and property division. But just as every marriage is unique, so too is every divorce – each of these issues will be more or less difficult depending on the circumstances. For couples with a high net worth, property division can become very complex.

Equitable distribution

One of the things a court will do very early in a divorce proceeding is attempt to classify all of the couple’s property as either marital or separate property. Separate property is an asset owned entirely by one spouse and will typically remain with that spouse following the divorce. All other assets are considered marital property and are subject to equitable distribution between the parties.

Equitable distribution means that property will be distributed fairly, rather than equally, and the court has broad discretion to fulfill this mandate. The court will consider all aspects of the marriage, and the parties, to determine what constitutes a fair division.

Why are high-asset divorces more difficult?

They don’t have to be, but they often are. For one thing, couples with a high net worth simply have more assets than many other divorcing couples. Additionally, they may have a wider variety of assets, such as business interests, stocks or inheritances.

Where property division really gets complex, though, is if the couple has separate property, which becomes mixed with marital property. For instance, one spouse could inherit a home, which would be considered separate property. But if the other spouse invests time or money into the maintenance of that house, or if the house is in some way used for the benefit of the marriage, its nature could change from separate property to marital property – either partially or wholly.

Due to these complexities, you may find it helpful to speak to a professional who is experienced in high-asset divorce. They can help you navigate these difficult aspects of Alabama divorce law.