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High Asset Divorce: How the Other Half Divorces

June 20, 2020

Fuel for daydreams about what one would do if one were rich is a multi-billion dollar industry. From lifestyle magazines to reality TV shows to celebrity social media influencers to tours of stately homes once owned by people whose main historic importance lies in the fact that they were rich, the 99 percent have a clear picture of what the one percent do with all that money. What most people don’t realize is that, the more money you have, the more room there is for disagreement about how to divide it equitably in a divorce. The family law attorneys at Iwanyshyn & Associates in Greater Pittsburgh are here to help high net worth couples divide their marital property in a way that is fair to both parties.

Assets That are Difficult to Value

Before the court can divide a couple’s marital assets, it must find out the value of each asset. It is easy enough to check the balance in a bank account or appraise the value of the marital home. Affluent couples are more likely to own assets for which there is more room for debate about the value, especially since the value fluctuates and the court must make reasonable predictions about what these assets will be worth in the future:

  • Business interests

  • Investment accounts

  • Real estate properties other than the marital home

  • Collections of valuable items such as artwork, jewelry, or antique furniture

Financial Dishonesty Among Affluent Couples

Financial dishonesty can destroy a marriage no matter what the couple’s income level, but financial infidelity among affluent couples can lead to bitter divorce battles where it is difficult to unravel the truth. It may be that your ex-spouse tells the court that he is merely upper middle class, meanwhile he has millions of dollars in offshore bank accounts and has cars and real estate properties titled in the names of his siblings and his girlfriend. A divorce lawyer will help you uncover the truth about your spouse’s financial dishonesty.

Prenuptial Agreements and High Asset Divorce

The popularity of prenuptial agreements is at an all-time high. Many couples who sign prenups are of modest means, and the main motivation for signing the prenup is the desire to keep their student loan debts separate. The original purpose of prenups is still to limit the amount of wealth the less wealthy spouse can claim if he or she divorces the wealthier one. Before enforcing a prenuptial agreement, the judge will decide whether it is fair. If your wife signed a prenup when she was 23 years old and pregnant, never earned an income during your marriage, and is divorcing you 30 years later, the court might determine that the agreement is unconscionable if you agreed that she will walk away with $100,000 while you keep your millions and your real estate property, even if that is what she agreed to by signing.

Iwanyshyn & Associates Helps Affluent Couples Divide Their Assets Equitably

Equitable distribution is the governing principle in divorce, no matter the couple’s tax bracket. Contact Iwanyshyn & Associates in Greater Pittsburgh & Western PA about your divorce case. 🡺 412.419.3448