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Property Division in a Complex High Net Worth Divorce Case


Just as in all other types of divorce cases, high net worth cases involve such issues as maintenance (alimony), child custody, and child support. Where high net worth cases tend to differ is in division of marital property. Because the assets and property in these types of cases are substantial, of varied types and can have substantial tax consideration, dividing up the property in a way that is beneficial to both parties can be more challenging. In addition, determining how property should be divided and allocated based on New York equitable distribution laws can be complex. Many complex high net worth divorce cases involve the distribution of such assets as:

• Business ventures
• Complex review of tax strategy
• Real estate investments
• Use of shell companies and multi-layered LLCs/LPs
• Multiple bank accounts and tracing
• Offshore accounts
• Stock options and restricted stock units
• 401(k)s and pensions
• Trusts
• Enhanced earnings
• Licenses and degrees
• Art, collectibles and antiques

In New York, equitable distribution laws state that marital property has to be divided "equitably" but does not necessarily mean equally. It does not matter which spouse has their name on the title, since all property acquired during marriage will be considered marital property subject to such division upon divorce. Oftentimes there are cases when a spouse will try to hide assets as an effort to retain them for themselves which is why it is important to have experience on your side—and access to the absolute best experts in each field.