Philadelphia Complex Divorce Lawyer
Serving Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery & Philadelphia County
Divorce is rarely simple or easy. Even in an uncontested divorce based on the mutual consent of the parties, it can still be difficult to address all the issues in the divorce and achieve an agreement that meets both spouses’ needs and interests while keeping emotions in check and making the best decisions. Some divorces are inherently complex with built-in obstacles such as complicated financial structures or an emotionally-charged domestic situation. Philadelphia complex divorce lawyer Lauren H. Kane has 35 years of experience handling all manner of divorce cases with a high degree of success. Learn more below about common issues that make divorce more complex, and contact the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane for assistance.
Issues in High Asset/High Net Worth Divorces
When it comes to the property division in a divorce, all marital property must be accurately identified and valued for a fair and equitable distribution. Every piece of marital property must be distributed, including the couple’s most expensive and valuable items. When the parties entered the marriage with vastly unequal assets or one party vastly out-earned the other during the marriage, there are likely to be disputes over whether certain assets constitute marital property or non-marital, separate property that should not be divided. These complex divorces often include a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement that must be interpreted and challenged or enforced. Complex marital property may involve:
- Personal property – jewelry, cars, art, furnishings
- Real estate – home, investment property
- Cash – stocks, bonds, investment accounts
Identifying and characterizing property as marital or separate is only the beginning. Accurately valuing complex assets is essential to equitable distribution. Not all assets can be equally divided. When awarding one asset exclusively to one party, the judge may look for other assets of equal value to award to the other party. Complex valuation issues that commonly arise include:
Business valuations – What is the appropriate accounting method to value a business? Is it the cash value of the business, its market value or growth potential? How essential is the spouse to the business? Should goodwill be considered? What would happen to the business if it were sold?
Pensions – Is a divorcing spouse entitled to a share in the other spouse’s pension? Does it matter if the pension was started before or during the marriage? Is the retirement fund a defined benefit plan or defined contribution plan, and what are the implications for the property division? Some plans can’t be divided without first drafting a Qualified Domestic Relation Order (QDRO) and working with the plan administrator.
Hidden assets – Is a spouse hiding assets in offshore accounts or converting cash to property in complicated financial transactions? We work with forensic accountants and other experts to find or trace funds and make sure all marital property is included in financial disclosures.
Our Philadelphia family law practice handles the full range of issues in high asset complex divorce cases, including property appraisals, tax issues, family trusts, highly-paid executives, business owners and more. In addition to the property division, high net worth divorces are often complex when it comes to determining the payment of alimony or spousal support, including whether support should be paid, how much is appropriate, and how long payments should be made.
Philadelphia High Conflict Divorce Attorney
Divorce is an emotional experience, but when it comes to deciding important matters like child custody and support, it’s essential to put one’s emotions in check and make rational decisions. There is an old saying that it takes two to tango, but it really only takes one spouse lashing out or reacting to make the divorce harder to resolve, more bitter, last longer and cost more, often with a less favorable result to both parties.
Some issues are worth fighting for; others are distractions that don’t mean anything in the big picture and merely waste your time and energy. Philadelphia divorce lawyer Lauren H. Kane fights for you, but she also takes the time to understand your needs and take care of you. If emotions are running high, the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane provide a sympathetic ear as well as trusted legal advice to help you make the best decisions.
Are you anticipating a high-conflict divorce? Before you file, plan so that you will have access to money and credit before your spouse cancels cards or cleans out a bank account (which may be a violation of court orders depending on when it’s done). While the divorce is underway, let the lawyers do the talking. Attorney Lauren H. Kane is trained and experienced and is invested in you and your outcome, but without the emotional baggage that can sometimes cloud judgment. If you must communicate with your spouse in the midst of conflict, do it in writing and keep copies of communications and responses. Don’t let yourself get pulled into conflict. Instead of getting provoked, refer matters to your attorney. That’s what we are here for.
Trusted Legal Advice in Philadelphia Complex Divorces, When Quality and Experience Matter
For help with high-asset, high-conflict and other complex divorce matters in Philadelphia, call the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane at 215-238-9529, or contact us online.