Divorce can be a daunting process to begin with. A high asset divorce in NJ, however, can be even more complicated.
Remember, it took a lot of time and energy to get where you are today so, if you decide to divorce your spouse, you’d like to come out of it in the best financial situation possible. The first step in unraveling your married life, is to hire the right attorney. It is important to hire someone knowledgeable and trustworthy. At Lyons & Associates, PC we use our expertise in high asset divorce to look out for your best interests.
Navigating the Process of High Asset Divorce in NJ
Evaluate All Assets
The first step in any high net worth divorce is to evaluate the assets. While this may cost some money, in the end it will be worth it. An accurate evaluation of the business, the retirement accounts, the real estate and any other assets you have will enable you and your attorney to negotiate a reasonable settlement. Remember, knowledge is power!
Partner With a High Asset Divorce Attorney
Once the assets have been evaluated, it’s time to get to work. Most high asset divorce cases settle. That’s why it’s important to have an attorney that is a good negotiator who has drafted many complicated settlement agreements. For example, if you have stock options, they don’t vest as soon as they are received. Stock options vest over time and the final agreement must account for the stocks received even after the Judgment of Divorce has been finalized.
Be aware of the applicable law. New Jersey has various statutes that address alimony, equitable distribution and child support. High asset divorces have many nuances that do not apply in an average divorce. Therefore, it’s important to work with an attorney who is knowledgeable regarding applicable statutes and case law.
Consult a Financial Advisor or Tax Preparer
While a high asset divorce attorney may be knowledgeable regarding the law that affects your case, a tax preparer or financial advisor will guide you through any tax consequences that will affect your settlement. During the last few years tax laws have changed regarding divorce. Alimony, on a federal level, used to be tax deductible to the payor spouse and considered income to the payee spouse. That is no longer the case, however, at the state level this law has not changed. Tax issues such as these are best discussed with an accountant, so you are properly prepared when filing your taxes.
Consider Preservation of Premarital Assets, Inherited Assets, Or Trust Accounts
If you have inherited assets, premarital assets, or a trust account, it is best to have an attorney that will help you preserve those assets. Those assets may have generated income for the family in the past. It is important to consider whether the income from the assets should be part of equitable distribution or the asset should remain untouched.