Montgomery County Complex Divorce Lawyer
Getting divorced is rarely ever a simple process. Even uncontested divorce, which is based on mutual consent of both parties, can be challenging. Parties may have trouble addressing all the issues to achieve an agreement that meets both spouses’ needs while keeping emotions out of it to make the best decisions necessary. Sometimes, a divorce is inherently complicated with obstacles such as an emotionally charged domestic situation or complex financial structure. Montgomery County complex divorce lawyer Lauren H. Kane has nearly four decades of experience handling all types of Pennsylvania divorce matters with a high degree of success. To learn more about the common issues that can make your divorce more complicated, contact the Law Offices of Lauren H. Kane.
Common Issues in High Net Worth/High Asset Divorces
When it comes to property division in a Pennsylvania divorce, both spouses must correctly identify and value all marital assets to prepare for a fair and equitable distribution. Each and every piece of marital property has to be distributed, including your valuable and expensive items. When a couple enters a marriage with unequal standing, such as having more assets than the other or earning significantly more, there are more likely to be disputes over whether certain assets constitute marital property. Separate property should not be divided. Complex divorces often include a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement as well that must be interpreted or enforced.
Examples of complex marital property could include:
- Real Estate: Multiple homes, investment property, property in other states or countries
- Personal Property: Art, collectibles, jewelry, multiple vehicles, antiques
- Cash: Investment accounts, bonds, stocks
- Business: Business interests, business ownership
The first step is to identify and define property as separate or marital property. The next part is even more challenging as you need to determine an accurate valuation as this is a crucial aspect of equitable distribution. Not every asset can be equally divided. When one party exclusively receives a single asset, the judge will look for other similar value assets to award the other spouse.
Common Valuation Issues with Complex Divorces
Some common complex valuation issues can arise in these types of divorces, including:
- Business valuations: Many complex divorces include one or more businesses or business interests. What is the right accounting method to determine the business’ value? Do you use the cash value of the business, its growth potential, or its market value? What is each spouse’s relationship to this business? Is one spouse essential to the company? Do you need to consider goodwill? What would happen to the business if it was sold as part of the divorce?
- Hidden Assets: Not all spouses are upfront with the assets they are supposed to declare are marital property. Could your spouse be hiding assets in offshore accounts? Or, perhaps they converted assets or cash into complicated financial transactions? If necessary, we will work with a skilled forensic accountant or other experts adept at finding hidden assets or tracing funds to ensure that all marital property is included in your financial disclosures.
- Pensions: Does a divorcing spouse deserve a portion of the other spouse’s retirement account or pension? What if the pension was started before the marriage? If it’s a retirement plan, is it a defined benefit plan, or is it a defined contribution plan? Are there any implications for the divorce and property division? Some retirement plans must go through a Qualified Domestic Relation Order (QDRO) first.
Contact a Montgomery County Complex Divorce Attorney
If you need assistance with a high-net-worth divorce, let the Law Offices of Laura H. Kane help. Contact our office today to schedule an initial consultation and let us protect your rights and help you get a fair and equitable property settlement.