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NYC High Net Worth
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NYC High Net Worth Divorce Attorney

NYC High Net Worth Divorces

In NYC, a high-net-worth divorce is also called a high asset divorce and involves at least one spouse with at least $1 million in asset value. Typically, assets in these divorce cases are comprised of stocks, bonds, business equity, and real estate. During a high net-worth divorce, the marital assets must go through a process of evaluation, valuation, and, finally, division. Divorce of any kind is tough and hard to go through for families. High net worth divorces face all the same problems as other divorces, but because of the assets, they can be much more complicated. For this reason, most high-asset divorcees are represented by high-asset divorce lawyers.

The Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, is committed to providing its clients with the highest quality representation possible. They devote personal attention to all cases they take and tailor each client’s defense to meet the needs of the individual while protecting their legal rights. They make their firm available 24/7 and are familiar with NYC laws and regulations, and as a family lawyer, Robert Tsigler himself is a lifelong resident of New York. To back up their services, they have won many cases in a wide variety of legal practice areas, and they are well-versed in family law and equipped to represent you in your high-asset divorce.

Why Do High Net Worth Divorce Cases Need Family Law Attorneys?

High net worth divorce cases, especially, need an experienced lawyer to represent the client and protect their assets. If you are facing divorce, your spouse likely has an attorney. You don’t want to go up against the opposing legal team without your own legal support. Interpreting the laws, determining value, and understanding what is going on with your case are the things a family lawyer can help with. With high-asset divorce cases in which the couple does not have a prenuptial agreement, the more assets a couple has, the more complicated it is to determine asset value. Furthermore, the longer it will take to take inventory of everything. While you shouldn’t rush your divorce, with the help of a well-versed family lawyer, your case can go significantly smoother and take less time in the long run.

Identifying, Valuating, and Dividing Marital Assets

The division of marital assets can get complicated quickly, especially with complex asset divorces. First, marital assets must be identified. Properties and assets acquired prior to marriage are generally not subject to division in high-asset divorce cases. Gifts or inheritances are also typically left out of marital property division. Therefore, marital assets generally include the following:

The next step in marital property division within divorce is evaluating the value of the assets deemed marital property. Many factors can affect the value of the marital property, and the assistance of professional appraisers is often brought in, especially for high-net divorce cases due to the extraordinarily high asset values and liquidity of some types of assets.

Debts are also considered at this phase. Furthermore, when the division of high-asset property and financial accounts occurs, there can be significant tax implications. For instance, some assets are traded out for things like retirement accounts that are subject to high tax penalties for early withdrawal of funds and would be significantly diminished in value if divided prematurely in divorce. An accountant or account manager of your assets can also advise you on tax implications and other insights to give you a better general perspective of things.

Finally, once all marital property is appraised, the court will then determine the division of the marital property. The court considers many different variables in making this decision. Every case is unique, with different circumstances and varying assets. One case may differ significantly from another, especially in high net-worth divorces.

Ultimately, the division of property is based on NY’s Equitable Distribution Law, which aims to divide assets fairly between spouses. Although it’s labeled equitable and noted to be fair, that doesn’t always translate into two equal halves of all marital property. Sometimes a judge will allocate assets solely to one party, such as the family home, while apportioning the other spouse with an equally valuable resource or asset, such as investment accounts equivalent in worth to the house.

Steps To Take in a High-Net Asset Divorce

All divorces are difficult and can be complicated to navigate. Below are some recommended steps you can take that can improve the result of your divorce case.

  1. As soon as you realize your marriage is headed for divorce, seek the advice of an experienced family law attorney, and start educating yourself on the laws and how they apply to your situation. Seeking legal counsel early on can help you anticipate what is ahead to put yourself in the most favorable position going into divorce proceedings.
  2. Don’t hide your assets. Transferring accounts and funds to other parties is not a good idea. In past cases, this behavior has done more harm than it has done good. If the opposing counsel discovers you tried to hide assets, falsify assets, or underreport assets, the judge oftentimes favors the honest party, and the dishonest party loses credibility.
  3. Consult with financial professionals such as appraisers or forensic accountants about your financial portfolio and investment accounts. These might include stocks, property, bonds, pensions, real estate, or other assets. You’ll need to have these items assessed by a credible professional to determine their true value and avoid disputes.
  4. Be patient, and don’t rush your divorce. Take the time necessary to progress through the legal proceedings so there are no regrets once the divorce is final and there are fewer discrepancies before the final order. Carefully consider the terms of alimony, debt division, and division of assets because complications arise in almost every case. Hasty settlements often end up with one spouse agreeing to the division of assets without considering the consequences. Oftentimes, you will see a better way to approach your case altogether. By not rushing through a divorce, you ensure a sound and financially stable post-divorce situation for the long term.
  5. Prepare for spousal maintenance and understand that when one spouse has a high-income job that is significantly more than the other spouse, alimony, or spousal maintenance, is usually court-ordered. Judges presiding over these cases typically consider things such as the length of the marriage, income gaps, contributions to the marriage, and earning potential when deciding if alimony payments are necessary and the amount they will be.
  6. Review your prenuptial agreement if you have one to familiarize yourself with its terms.
  7. Cooperate and comply with court orders and instructions for paying child support, alimony, and any other injunctions the court enacts. Failing to follow the terms set forth by a judge amid a divorce case can have distressing consequences that can end up costing you even more money.

NYC High Net Worth Divorce FAQs:

Q: How Much Does a Divorce Attorney Cost in NYC?

A: The average rate for a divorce attorney in NYC is $350 per hour; however, this amount can be significantly more in a high-net-worth case because of the complicated and additional details that are involved. Furthermore, some courts rule for one of the spouses to pay all the court fees, litigation costs, and attorney fees for both sides.

Q: What Is a Net Worth Statement in New York Divorce?

A: A net worth statement is an affidavit that discloses the income, expenses, debts, and assets of both parties involved in the divorce. Both parties must submit this document. It should be complete and accurate since it is a sworn statement of the court. A family attorney can assist you in writing this document properly, so there is little room for dispute.

Q: How Is Net Worth Split in Divorce?

A: New York divides the marital property in a high-net divorce case using equitable distribution, though it doesn’t necessarily mean the assets are divided in half. Rather, it is a fair division based on many factors, such as each spouse’s contribution to the marriage. Division of assets is meant to be fair, though most do not split everything 50-50 between divorcing couples.

Q: Does Infidelity Affect Divorce Settlements in NY?

A: Although NY is a fault divorce state, meaning a divorce is based on the fault of one of the parties, having an intermarital affair does not automatically entitle the other spouse to a larger portion of marital property and asset division. Adultery does not change the amount of money, spousal support, or property distributed in a divorce settlement.

If you are facing a high-asset divorce, it is a good idea to consult with a family attorney as soon as possible. Obtaining legal advice early on can greatly benefit your case as you prepare to enter divorce proceedings. Call the Law Offices of Robert Tsigler, PLLC, today for a consultation on your high net worth divorce case.

Married 25 years, husband files for divorce due to wife’s adultery. We conducted a forensic investigation into the wife’s assets & discovered she used marital funds to secretly purchase property in the Caribbean. The property was incorporated into the settlement agreement in favor of the husband.  

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Getting representation as soon as possible following any Divorce-related charge is the best way to promote a positive result from a subsequent trial. Only an experienced NYC High Net Worth Divorce lawyer can successfully defend your case.

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