High Net-Worth Divorce
High net-worth divorces involve many intricate legal and financial issues. Because so much is at stake financially, the proceedings are often highly contested and lengthy. It is important, therefore, that high net-worth divorces be handled in such a way as to avoid unnecessary legal fees and to achieve the most efficient and reasonable result.
The attorneys at Kearns Rotolo Law can help you handle your high net-worth divorce.
Victor A. Rotolo has been included on the List of New Jersey Super Lawyers in the years 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, and 2022, marking his seventeenth year of inclusion on this list. The list of New Jersey Super Lawyers is generated by the Thomson Reuters organization which employs the following methodology and set of standards to compile the list each year. Super Lawyers Selection Methodology [No aspect of this advertisement has been approved by the Supreme Court.]
Victor A. Rotolo is certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Civil Trial Attorney.
"A certified attorney is more than just an attorney who specializes in a particular area of law. A New Jersey attorney who is certified by the Supreme Court as a civil trial attorney must have:
- been a member in good standing of the New Jersey bar for over 5 years
- demonstrated a substantial level of experience in civil trial law
- been favorably evaluated by other attorneys and judges familiar with his or her work
- taken and passed a written examination in civil trial law."
Source: Supreme Court of New Jersey, Board on Attorney Certification, Brochure on Certified Civil Trial Attorney. See Rule 1:39: Specialty Certification of Attorneys.
As with any divorce, the process itself triggers feelings of guilt and anger. These emotions can get in the way of making reasonable decisions that are in the best interests of both spouses. Too often spouses agree to unsound financial decisions either out of guilt or because there is an urgency to finalize the divorce. High net-worth divorces can include more complex variables than other divorces and, as a result, carry a higher potential for mistakes.Division of Assets
Division of property in a high net-worth divorce can greatly impact the value of each spouse’s future personal wealth. Consequently, it is critical to take inventory of all you own, jointly as well as individually, and to conduct a thorough investigation into all assets prior to the divorce.
New Jersey is an “equitable distribution” state, meaning that marital property is divided in a fair, although not necessarily equal manner. Marital property is defined as those assets acquired, either jointly or separately, during the marriage as well as those individual assets that were brought to the marriage and converted to marital property.Common Mistakes in a High Net-Worth Divorce
A common mistake made in high net-worth divorces is not properly identifying all assets and liabilities. Couples seeking divorce are required by law to complete a financial affidavit and provide certain documentation regarding their finances. This information must be accurate, current and comprehensive; otherwise, spouses could end up accepting liabilities they are not responsible for or giving away assets that are rightfully theirs.
Because assets can be hidden in a multitude of ways, a financial affidavit may not be sufficient in a high net-worth divorce. Further investigation may be required to uncover hidden assets. However, it is important to remember that, despite best efforts, some assets may never be uncovered. A balance between the perceived value of those assets and the costs of an investigation must be weighed carefully.
Another costly mistake is failing to consider tax consequences. Investment accounts, for example, are taxed on their cost basis, which can be different for each spouse. Taxes may also affect spousal support payments when couples fail to consider their after-tax income.The High Net-Worth Divorce Team
High net-worth divorces raise complicated, emotional issues that require a sophisticated approach. When seeking professional guidance, it is important to look for an experienced divorce attorney committed to helping you obtain a secure financial future. You need a divorce attorney who has access to the service of a team of professionals, including financial analysts and forensic accountants. Kearns Rotolo Law attorneys have an aggregate of more than 200 years’ experience litigating various legal issues including divorce, property distribution, child custody, child visitation, child support, and alimony. Call today for a free initial half-hour consultation.