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5 Types of Assets to Address in a High Net Worth Divorce

 Posted on September 30, 2021 in Family Law

Wisconsin Traffic Offense AttorneyThere are many complications that can arise when separating a married couple’s finances, possessions, and other parts of their lives during the divorce process. However, these issues can become much more complex in a high asset divorce case due to the complex assets that a couple may own and the high values of these assets. As these couples determine how to handle the division of marital property, they will want to be aware of the factors that may affect their decisions and the steps they can take to protect their rights and interests.

Dividing Complex Assets

Couples with a high net worth may need to determine how to handle assets such as:

  • Bank accounts - A couple may have multiple accounts, including savings accounts in different states or countries, money market accounts or other types of investments, and checking accounts or lines of credit used to make regular payments. Depending on how a couple has handled financial issues, one spouse may not be fully aware of certain accounts. During the discovery process, all of a couple’s accounts and sources of funds may be disclosed or uncovered, and if necessary, a forensic accountant may be used to look for any accounts or other methods that a spouse may have used to hide assets.

  • Business assets - A spouse who is a business owner or who owns an investment stake in a company may want to maintain ownership of these assets to ensure that the business can continue operating. A business valuation will usually need to be performed during the divorce process, and a forensic accountant can also be helpful in these cases to uncover any hidden assets related to the business.

  • Real estate - If a couple owns a significant amount of equity in their marital home, or if they own multiple homes, they will need to determine how to handle ownership of these properties. If one spouse plans to maintain ownership of a home, they will need to make sure they will be able to cover the costs associated with ownership, including mortgage payments, property taxes, utilities, and maintenance. While selling a home during the divorce process may be an option, spouses should be aware of the taxes that may apply to these sales.

  • Retirement benefits and executive compensation - Spouses may need to divide the funds in retirement accounts or the pension benefits that one party will receive upon retirement, and when doing so, they can use a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO) to ensure that taxes and penalties will not apply. If a spouse holds an executive position, other types of benefits may need to be addressed, such as stock options or deferred compensation.

  • Valuables - A couple may own multiple pieces of high-value property, including automobiles, boats, jewelry, artwork, sports memorabilia or other collectibles, or designer clothing or furniture. To ensure that these items are divided correctly, appraisals may need to be performed.

Contact Our Oconomowoc High Asset Divorce Lawyers

If you need help determining how to identify and divide marital property during a high net worth divorce, Bucher, Wolff & Sonderhouse, LLP can provide you with legal representation. We will work with you to determine the value of the assets you own and negotiate a divorce settlement that protects your financial interests. Contact our Waukesha high net worth divorce attorneys at 262-232-6699 to arrange a free consultation.


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