Unique Challenges with a High-Asset Divorce

For most married couples, the division of assets in a divorce is a relatively simple process – automobiles, house, furniture, retirement accounts, and cash in bank accounts. But for high-net-worth individuals, the division of marital assets is almost always far more complex than that.

On the surface, it may look like all a wealthy couple needs to do is sell the homes and automobiles, split the 401(k)s and IRAs, sell the art collection, and split the cash in the bank accounts, but such simplicity is hardly realistic; it’s not even close.

In most, if not all high-asset divorces, the couple has a significant amount of assets, but ending the marriage may very well propose the following challenges in regard to the gross assets:

  • Some assets may be debt-encumbered.
  • Some of assets are not liquid.
  • Some assets are not income-producing.
  • Appreciated investments may not provide a current return, and if they are sold, it could result in a capital gain tax.
  • There may be tax consequences after certain assets are distributed.

Important Role of a CPA

We are only scratching the surface in regard to the unique financial challenges faced by high-net-worth individuals when seeking a divorce. Because of the nuances and unique challenges involved in high-asset divorces, a CPA’s services are critical.

A CPA can determine the nature and the full extent of a marital estate. The CPA will determine the value of the couple’s marital assets and liabilities, so they can understand their full financial picture and enter into an agreement informed.

“A divorce financial expert with investment management experience who deals regularly with high-value, complex portfolios can help attorneys and their clients navigate these types of situations flawlessly,” Michelle Smith, CEO of Source Financial Advisors told Forbes.

Next: Could Your Spouse Be Holding Restricted Stock?

At the Law Office of Dennis R. Vetrano, Jr., LLC, we have extensive experience representing clients in their high-asset divorce cases. Not only can we represent you, but we can connect you to valuable resources, such as CPAs and forensic accountants, who can help your accounting needs. Contact us today to learn more about our divorce services in Putnam, Dutchess, and Orange counties.

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