When a couple separates, many complicated situations can arise. This is especially true in situations involving significant real estate, investments, businesses, and other property. It takes a skilled divorce attorney with the experience to handle such high-asset divorces to make sure all parties are satisfied with the settlement offer.
The divorce lawyers at Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard, PLLC routinely advise individuals in Nashville and the surrounding communities on pursuing a peaceful and satisfactory separation. Using cutting-edge strategies with meticulous attention to detail in valuing a couple’s assets, our attorneys are dedicated to protecting your financial interests in a high-asset divorce.
Pursuing a High-Asset Divorce in Tennessee
Divorces involving significant assets often require more complex dealings in the division of property between spouses and are referred to as “high-asset” divorces. In many situations, they require a valuation and determination of the following factors:
Investments and stocks with high net-worth
Joint business ventures
Closely held partnerships or other businesses
Substantial savings, pension, or retirement accounts
Real property holdings
High-asset divorces may involve the consultation of financial experts to ensure that valuations and appraisals of assets are determined accurately. Often, some of the most concerning issues for a spouse with a high net worth are determining equitable distribution and alimony for the lesser earning or dependent spouse.
Classifying assets as either marital or separate property is vital in determining what type of division may be equitable. Separate property includes any inheritances, gifts, or property that one spouse owned prior to the marriage.
Marital property includes any assets gained or earned during the marriage. Although it seems these definitions are cut and dry, classification can actually be much more complex. For instance, if separate property is commingled with marital property, that property can turn into a marital asset. Or, if separate property is used to invest in a jointly owned business or to further the educational standing of one spouse, the status of the asset could be altered.
Complexities in High-Asset Divorces
High-asset divorces require careful consideration of all financial aspects, as well as some emotional aspects, that are present in all marriage dissolutions. Spouses may disagree over the enforceability of prenuptial agreements, proper alimony amounts, and child support or visitation matters.
Consulting one of our Nashville high-asset divorce attorneys can help a divorcing couple reach an agreement suitable for them, rather than leaving it up to a court to decide in legal proceedings. Our attorneys can assist with the following:
Identifying any hidden assets so fair property division can occur
Evaluating your businesses to determine the full and fair value
Evaluating the fair marketing value of any stocks, bonds, money market accounts, and any other financial accounts
Examining any property interests such as vacation homes and rental properties
Addressing any concerns about child support payments
One of the biggest concerns in a high-asset divorce is a couple’s ownership interest in a private business at the time of a divorce settlement. While rare, in some cases, a divorced couple can continue to work together for the sake of the business. But typically, one partner will try to buy out the other.
When this happens, certain elements need to be addressed as part of the divorce settlement. These include:
Release of claims from the business to ensure that the transfer did take place and that there will not be future claims against it once the divorce is final.
The spouse who transfers ownership will need to seek indemnity, or security, from future litigation against the company or other spouse once the divorce is final. This protects the transferor from future lawsuits should they arise.
The company should file a K-1 tax document to the spouse who transfers the ownership. This protects the spouse from any taxable income in the coming year.
The spouse making the transfer will need to address all rights, titles, and interests that are also transferred so no property or assets are withheld.
While a property transfer often leads to a payout, the problem arises when there is not enough cash available to buy out that spouse. In that case, the other spouse will continue to hold business ownership for a set amount of time until the interest is met.
However, these cases quickly can become complicated, which is why it is imperative to have legal guidance from a high-asset divorce attorney.
Seek Legal Guidance in Nashville When Dissolving a Marriage
High-asset divorces often become complicated, and often with complexity comes adversity. Having a strong legal advocate on your side can make a difference in your future. At Martin Heller Potempa & Sheppard PLLC, our Nashville divorce attorneys can make the process of going through a high-asset divorce go as smoothly as possible. We work tirelessly to pursue an outcome where a client is satisfied.