No divorce is easy. However, when you have a collection of valuable assets and properties involved, dissolving a marriage can be even tougher. High-asset divorces occur when a married couple shares a significant amount of valuable marital property. Dividing these assets can be complex, especially when certain items cannot be split evenly. If you’re involved in a high-asset divorce here in Gastonia, you should discuss your situation with our family law team to ensure that your property is protected.
At Kenny & Lowry, P.L.L.C., we know that going through a divorce can leave you feeling vulnerable. Divorces involve a myriad of personal matters, which is why it’s imperative that you feel comfortable with your attorney. That’s why, on top of providing effective divorce representation, our firm is also devoted to creating a safe space where our clients can feel comfortable asking for help. Allow our skilled team to represent you and guide you through the dissolution process as we provide you with superior legal support. For client-focused, high-asset divorce help in Gastonia, our team of experienced divorce lawyers can help you navigate the complexities of your case.
High-asset divorces are similar to general divorces in that they follow the same process to legally dissolve a marriage. They still address important aspects of ending a marriage, such as child custody, child support, spousal support, and property division. However, high-net-worth divorces tend to be more complex because they often involve diverse assets, multiple real estate holdings, and ownership interests in businesses.
The average high-asset divorce involves at least $500k worth of properties, belongings, and incomes, though it can be lower. For example, a high-asset divorce may involve a family-owned business or two spouses who both make high incomes. Because high-net-worth divorces involve a collection of valuable assets, they require more work and more complex valuation processes than the average divorce. Judges have to ensure that no property is left unidentified, that large assets are equitably distributed, and that the divorce process remains fair at all times. Depending on the amount of valuable assets that you’re dealing with, your high-net-worth divorce may also take longer than the average divorce.
Because North Carolina law does not clearly define what qualifies as a high-asset divorce, there are multiple situations that may be recognized as one. Generally, if one or more of the following circumstances apply to your situation, your case will be treated as a high-asset divorce in North Carolina:
On top of the general issues that come with every divorce, a high-asset divorce also presents unique obstacles for residents of North Carolina. Some of the most common problems that our lawyers have encountered in high-asset divorces include:
In every divorce, both spouses must identify and value each of their marital assets through what is known as the inventory process. This is so that a judge can compare each list and ensure that no property is being hidden or devalued when it’s time for property division. In many high-asset divorces, one spouse may attempt to hide their favorite belongings, sell assets, or even leave a piece of property off the list completely. To ensure that you receive the property you’re entitled to in your Gastonia high-asset divorce, see how we can represent you and help you find a professional to value your property according to its market value.
When a divorcing couple owns a business in Gastonia, their situation can become complicated fast. This is due to the fact that it’s not possible to place an exact numerical value on a business. Instead, a judge has to add numerous factors, such as the company’s current profit, its future profit, and each spouse’s share in the company, to determine the worth of the business in a divorce. In cases where one spouse wants to keep the business and the other does not, one of them may attempt to buy out their soon-to-be-ex’s share to retain full ownership and continue the operation. However, one spouse cannot attempt to do anything with their business without the permission of their spouse and co-shareholder.
One unfortunate reality of high-asset divorce is that one spouse may try to take advantage of the other. This often occurs because one spouse knows that their partner has a high income and can afford to make large payments, ultimately leading them to believe that they can request outrageous amounts. If your spouse requested an extreme amount of alimony in your high-net-worth divorce, make sure to bring your concerns to an adept divorce attorney. We have first-hand experience with sneaky divorce tactics and are prepared to protect you against them in Gastonia.
Whether you and your spouse had children together or the two of you were living alone, deciding what to do with the family house is never an easy choice. If you’re involved in a high-asset divorce, it’s most likely that your home is worth a decent amount of money. To ensure that property is equitably distributed, there are three main ways that the house may be “divided,” which are:
In North Carolina, property transferred between spouses is not taxed. However, it is extremely important to understand your personal and business tax returns for use in valuing a business and determination of income for alimony purposes. This is the best time to be working closely with your CPA to ensure minimal tax consequences are incurred.
Before someone gets married, all their property is considered their own. However, after someone is married, the assets that they collect with their spouse are classified as marital property. This means that both spouses own the properties, assets, and debts that they accumulate during their relationship. Because marriages combine two people’s lives, separate and marital property can often become intertwined. When separate property cannot be differentiated from marital assets in a divorce, this is known as commingling. Comingling can present a variety of challenges in a high-asset divorce, especially when neither partner wants to give up their property.
Dividing property in a divorce tends to be contentious because most spouses don’t want to lose their belongings. If you believe that you and your spouse are amicable enough to talk openly about your assets and debts, you can work together to form a fair agreement on property division outside of family court often through a document called a Separation Agreement and Property Settlement. When you and your spouse are not able to reach an agreement on your own, a complaint for equitable distribution, which is property division and distribution between spouses, will need to be filed. Once a complaint for equitable distribution is filed, there are still opportunities for you and your spouse to reach an agreement, including attending mediation and participating in other alternative dispute resolution options, and if you reach an agreement a consent order will need to be entered. When you choose to make agreements instead of having a judge decide them for you through litigation, you’ll still need a Gastonia judge to approve your decision before it can be finalized.
In North Carolina, marital property must be divided according to equitable distribution laws and can start being addressed as soon as the couple separates, in-fact it is better to address property issues soon after you separate and before a couple divorces. Equitable distribution must be resolved or preserved before the divorce order is entered. If it is not resolved or preserved through the filing of a claim for equitable distribution before the divorce order is entered it is forever extinguished.
Equitable distribution guidelines do not require marital property to be split exactly 50/50. Instead, the property must be split equitably between partners. This simply means that assets may be divided in a way that is deemed fair, but not necessarily numerically equal. Because North Carolina follows these rules, retaining a divorce lawyer with insight into equitable distribution can help your case substantially. Common pieces of marital property that have to be split include:
Divorces are daunting, regardless of how prepared you may be. While the process may seem intimidating, working with a firm that cares about your well-being can help you protect yourself in a difficult divorce. Here are a few tips from our team on how to protect yourself and your property in a Gastonia high-asset divorce:
Whether you make a substantial income on your own or you and your spouse own a business, hiring an experienced family lawyer is one of the smartest things that you can do for yourself in a high-asset divorce. Between separating assets, determining alimony, and deciding who gets the family home, you’re going to need guidance in more ways than one.
At Kenny & Lowry, P.L.L.C., our priority is protecting you throughout your divorce. In a high-asset divorce especially, there are a variety of manipulative tactics that other spouses may try to use to avoid having to give up as much money or property as they should. Our lawyers are not only aware of these tactics, but we are also quick at identifying them and shutting them down. We work to ensure that our clients are treated with respect and receive what they are entitled to every time.
By working with our Gastonia law firm, you can benefit from our:
While high-asset divorces may be complicated, there are solutions out there that can help you resolve yours adequately. Here at Kenny & Lowry, P.L.L.C., we work with our clients to find high-asset divorce solutions that help them feel comfortable. Whether you’re worried about receiving an unfair share of assets or your spouse is trying to get out of spousal support payments, our team cares about your unique needs. Contact Kenny & Lowry, P.L.L.C., for high-asset divorce assistance in Gastonia, North Carolina and surrounding cities and counties, including all of Gaston County, Lincoln County and Cleveland County.
117 East Main Avenue
Gastonia, NC 28052