The Challenges of the High-Asset Divorce

The Challenges of the High-Asset DivorceDivorce is almost always complicated, regardless of the level of income of the parties. However, when you are dealing with significant marital assets – whether they are businesses, professional practices, domestic and international real estate investments, or other valuables – additional challenges may arise during the divorce process.

Dividing retirement assets

Each party’s retirement account, pension, IRA, 401(k) and other types of retirement accounts are subject to equitable distribution as part of the divorce. The assets which have accrued from the date of the marriage to the date the divorce complaint was filed are subject to division, unless excluded by a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement. To transfer the retirement assets from one spouse to another requires a court order. One of the most common of these types of orders is the QDRO (qualified domestic relations order).

Deviating from Maryland child support orders

When the combined adjusted annual income is above $15,000 per month, the Maryland courts have greater discretion regarding setting the expected child support payments. The court can consider the standard of living that the child would have enjoyed if the parents had not divorced when deciding the amount of child support that should be paid.

Uncovering hidden assets

Often in a high net worth divorce, one party may have begun planning for divorce for a while before disclosing their intentions. They could have been opening separate accounts, titling assets in other people’s names and engaging in other practicing with the intention of hiding assets so that they will not be subject to the division of assets in the divorce. In a Maryland divorce, each party is required to complete financial disclosures. Submitting false or incomplete information to the court can result in the offending party being held in contempt.

Conflict can drive cost

When there are substantial assets – or debts – in a marriage, the chance of conflict increases. The more conflict there is, the longer the process can take, and the more expensive it will become. Aside from the associated costs of repeat court appearances, you may also need to meet repeatedly with financial advisors and bankers, accrue additional fees for document processing, and lose time from work. Time spent away from work can have an even more detrimental effect on business owners.

Educating yourself and understanding your options

It is vital that you educate yourself about your options whether you are in a nigh net worth divorce, or an average divorce. Communicate with your attorney and participate fully in the valuation process. Ask questions, know what you want and be as flexible as possible without surrendering your right to a fair outcome. Your skilled Columbia divorce attorney knows all the strategies that will help lessen the impact that divorce can often have on your finances so that you will have sufficient assets with which to begin your new life after divorce.

For decades, McCabe Russell, PA has been the law firm that your friends, family and neighbors have trusted to help them find a new way forward. Our team of seasoned divorce attorneys in Columbia have worked with families of all types and income levels, throughout Howard County. You are encouraged to call 443-812-1435 or fill out this contact form to reserve a consultation time. We also maintain offices in Fulton, Rockville and Bethesda.