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Divide Your Complex Assets: Morris County Divorce Lawyers

Last updated on May 24, 2024

One of the most difficult aspects of any Morris County divorce is the question of property valuation and division. The process of determining which assets are separate and which belong to the marital estate, valuing those assets, and then distributing them equitably is complex, requiring both experience and legal knowledge.

Doing the same thing for a high net worth couple requires more than just experience and legal knowledge. It requires extreme dedication to asset division law, a willingness to spend long hours properly considering both the long- and short-term impacts any settlement may have, and an intimate understanding of both legal and financial law.

At the Morristown, New Jersey, law office of Laufer, Dalena, Jensen, Bradley & Doran, LLC, our family law team has all of the skills necessary to resolve high net worth divorces. We have helped many clients in Morris, Chester, Harding and neighboring areas value and divide complex assets such as real estate holdings, businesses and partnerships, investments and stock options, retirement accounts, antiques, collectibles, art, and family heirlooms and jewelry.

When you hire our law team to protect your assets and holdings, you can rest assured that you are hiring highly skilled professionals who will consider every possible option and take the legal and financial actions necessary to ensure that your interests and future are secure.

Determining Marital And Separate Property In High Net Worth Divorces

In a New Jersey divorce, the first step to properly dividing a high net worth marriage’s assets is determining which assets are part of the marital estate and which assets are to be considered separate.

There is a lot of room for negotiation when it comes to businesses that were owned prior to the marriage and then later contributed to by the other party in the marriage, inheritances and trusts, and expected future earnings and potential bonuses.

It is critical that you retain expert Morris County asset division representation to dissect financial documents, prenuptial agreements and all information relating to contributions to the marital estate to properly determine which assets are to be equitably distributed and which assets are strictly the property of one individual.

Our Lawyers Protect Your Financial Future

Once the entirety of the martial estate has been determined, it must be divided according to New Jersey equitable distribution laws. It is important to keep in mind that equitable does not mean equal; it means “fair.” A “fair” settlement allows for a great deal of interpretation and negotiation and is one of the reasons equitable distribution can be so complex. Each party may have its own idea of what assets are important and may be willing to take a smaller overall portion to secure the specific assets important to him or her.

Our high net worth asset division attorneys understand how to value complex assets both financially and sentimentally and how to negotiate for the property division settlement you deserve while ensuring that any agreement is equitable in the eyes of the law. We have experience handling:

  • Business arrangements, including partnerships, deferred compensation and stock options
  • Real estate holdings such as multiple residences, vacation homes and commercial properties
  • Retirement accounts such as 401(k)s, pensions and benefits
  • Stocks, bonds and investment properties
  • Complex tax structuring and planning
  • Prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

All of the above require thorough review, expert consultation and careful consideration to ensure that your rights and future are protected.

Frequently Asked Questions About High-Asset Divorces

High net worth divorces are naturally more complicated than divorces with little or no assets. We often hear a lot of questions, such as those below.

How does alimony factor into a high net worth divorce?

In high net worth divorces, alimony is more likely to be awarded for a significant period. To determine the amount and duration of the alimony, the court will look at both the lifestyle that the couple enjoyed during their marriage and each spouse’s separate income and assets.

How are business assets handled in a high-asset divorce?

Depending on when the business was started and any premarital or postmarital agreements about ownership, a business may belong wholly or partially to the marital estate. That means that both spouses could be entitled to a share of the business. Options include selling the business and dividing the proceeds, continuing to operate the business as co-owners and having one spouse buy out the other.

How do prenuptial and mid-marriage agreements affect the division of assets in a high net worth divorce?

Premarital and mid-marriage (postnuptial) agreements can drastically affect the division of assets in any divorce. Generally, those kinds of private contracts can carve out a spouse’s separate property and exclude assets from the marital estate or set other limits on how much a dependent spouse is entitled to receive.

What are the tax considerations I should be aware of in a high-asset divorce?

The tax implications of a high net worth divorce are significant. It is essential to have experienced legal and financial guidance when you are considering how to handle investments, pensions, stock options and support payments since the taxes can ultimately affect the true value of any settlement.

What should I do if I suspect my spouse is hiding assets during our divorce proceedings?

Take your concerns to your attorney. Your high net worth attorney can help you uncover hidden financial information and get your fair share. The courts take the failure to fully disclose assets seriously, and they may punish a spouse who fails to comply.

Contact Our High Net Worth Divorce Law Team Today

Laufer, Dalena, Jensen, Bradley & Doran, LLC, features a highly regarded team of family lawyers. Many of our lawyers have been nominated to the Super Lawyers list as it relates to family law, with our founding partner, William M. Laufer, having earned this nomination every year since 2005. For a complete list of our highly rated family law attorneys and their years of inclusion on the Super Lawyers list, please view the section below or our attorney profiles.

If you are concerned about protecting your assets in your divorce case, look no further for an attorney who will expertly and carefully handle your case. Having helped many clients across Harding, Chatham, Chester and Mendham, our high net worth divorce attorneys have the experience, dedication and resolve you need to effectively protect your complex assets and financial future.

To speak with one of our attorneys in a confidential consultation today, please contact us online or through our Morristown office at 973-975-4043.