Safeguarding Your Assets in High-Net-Worth Divorces

New York City High Asset Divorce Lawyer

Get peace of mind with high-net-worth divorce attorneys at The Levoritz Law Firm in New York City, where legal knowledge meets compassion to protect your assets and future.

When Higher Assets Lead to Fiercer Conflict, You Need Skilled Representation

The more assets you have, the more there is at stake in your divorce, and the more complex it will likely be. While all divorcing couples must make life-altering decisions that affect their children, living arrangements, and finances, those with a high net worth will likely have more substantial financial and tax issues related to their divorce.

If you have a high net worth heading into your divorce, you have more to lose, particularly if you make mistakes during the process.

The high-asset divorce lawyers at The Levoritz Law Firm are well aware of what’s at stake and will leverage their considerable knowledge to get you the best possible outcome in your divorce. We’ll stand beside you, delivering effective guidance at every step.

Compassionate and Effective Divorce Representation in New York City

What Is Considered a High-Asset Divorce in New York?

High-asset divorces generally involve more than $10 million in liquid assets in multiple forms.

When assets are varied and include things like business interests, international investments, inheritances and trusts, retirement accounts and pension plans, real estate, jewelry, and collectibles, it can be difficult to value net liquid assets and categorize them as marital or nonmarital property.

Dividing these valuable assets requires the assistance of an attorney experienced with high-asset cases and adept at properly classifying and pricing assets.

The legal team at The Levoritz Law Firm has significant experience helping those with significant assets negotiate the divorce process. We also work with professionals who specialize in financial investigation, asset appraisals, and accounting.

What Assets Are Divided in a High-Net-Worth Divorce?

Marital property is usually considered to be all property acquired by the parties, individually or jointly, during the marriage, even if the property is in the name of only one spouse.

Common examples of assets that are considered marital property include:

  • The couple’s primary home and vacation homes
  • Vehicles
  • Household furnishings
  • Bank and stock accounts
  • Antiques and collectibles
  • Pensions and retirement plans
  • Businesses interests
  • Professional degrees and the “enhanced earning capacity” of any degree, license, or certification obtained during the marriage

The courts don’t divide separate property, which is generally anything acquired before marriage and not brought into the estate (such as property owned before marriage). Inherited property, gifts from third parties to one of the parties, and money received from a personal injury or workers' compensation recovery are also examples of separate property.

All such property is generally exempt from equitable distribution. However, certain property may be excluded from the marital estate if you and your spouse have an existing marital agreement, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.

What Courts Consider When Making Equitable Distributions in High-Net-Worth Divorces

New York is an equitable distribution state. This means that marital property will be split in a way that the court feels is fair and just.

Courts look at numerous factors to determine how to distribute property, including:

  • Each spouse’s income.
  • The property acquired during the marriage until the date the divorce was filed.
  • The length of the marriage.
  • The health and age of each spouse.
  • The need for the custodial parent to live in the matrimonial home and own its effects.
  • The loss of inheritance rights and pension rights upon dissolution.
  • Tax consequences and the future financial circumstances of each spouse.
  • Whether the court has already awarded spousal support.
  • Whether either of the spouses has transferred any matrimonial property after. contemplating the divorce and without fairly considering the other partner.
  • Whether both spouses have equitable claim over the matrimonial property.
  • Whether either party has committed domestic violence.

The courts may also address any other factors they deem important, just, or proper.

Get Experienced Representation from Our New York High-Net-Worth Divorce Lawyers Today

Don't put your future at risk. Contact the high-asset divorce attorneys at The Levoritz Law Firm today to protect what’s yours.

Why You Need an Attorney for High-Asset Divorce in NYC

When you partner with The Levoritz Law Firm, our attorneys will work vigorously to protect your interests, regardless of the extent of your assets, properties, businesses, and accounts.

Here are some of the specific steps we take to protect our high-asset clients:

  • Perform a thorough analysis of how assets and debts were handled during the marriage and seek a favorable and equitable distribution of marital property.
  • Come up with a fair evaluation of varied marital assets.
  • Examine financial disclosure evidence provided by both spouses to ensure that the information listed in the required affidavits is correct.
  • Deal with the complicated tax, benefits, and retirement considerations that arise in high-asset divorces.
  • Work with skilled professionals like financial advisors to determine the short and long-term impacts of property distribution.
  • Examine, enforce, and challenge the legality of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
  • Hire forensic accountants to determine whether one spouse is attempting to hide assets or taking other fraudulent actions.
  • Protect clients from becoming financially liable for debts associated with their spouse or their business enterprises.

We believe it’s best to address high-asset property division issues amicably and negotiate settlements outside of court whenever possible. However, we won’t hesitate to represent you in court if necessary. Founding attorney Yoni Levoritz is a highly skilled litigator, having argued many cases at the appellate level.

Why Choose the Levoritz Law Firm for High-Asset Divorce Cases in NYC?

When you find yourself in a high-asset divorce, mistakes can be extremely costly to your future and disruptive to your way of life. Partnering with The Levoritz Law Firm allows you to work with divorce attorneys who can help you see the bigger picture calmly and rationally.

Divorces are hard enough without being weighed down by the added financial stress that comes with the prospect of losing millions of dollars. Count on our attorneys to guide you through all decisions that could impact your current and future finances.

The following are some of the unique benefits our clients receive when they work with us.

  • Diplomatic Approach: Recognizing the increased likelihood of contention in high-asset cases, we use diplomacy to manage disputes, aiming to protect our clients' rights while preserving important relationships and minimizing conflict.
  • Stress Reduction: We understand the emotional toll divorce proceedings can take. That’s why we make it a priority to reduce the stress and disruption high net-worth clients and their families experience, especially when children are involved.
  • Negotiation Skills: We know how to negotiate effectively with the opposing party to achieve favorable outcomes for our clients. We always strive for the best possible results for both our clients and their children.
  • Appellate Experience: Our team has significant experience handling cases at the appellate level, indicating a deep understanding of the legal system and the ability to deftly manage complex legal challenges.
  • Commitment to Clients: Above all, we’re focused on mitigating the impacts of divorce on our high-asset clients, reflecting a commitment to the well-being and best interests of clients and their families throughout the legal process.

Our balanced approach, which combines compassionate advocacy with diplomacy and skilled negotiation, makes us a prime choice for managing the complexities of high-asset divorce cases in New York City.

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Meet Our NYC High-Net-Worth Divorce Law Team

Serving New York City & The Suburbs

The Levoritz Law Firm proudly serves individuals and families across New York City and surrounding counties, providing skilled legal guidance wherever you are.

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FAQ

  • How much does a high-net-worth divorce lawyer cost?

    The cost of retaining a high-net-worth divorce lawyer can vary greatly based on the lawyer’s experience, the case’s complexity, and the client’s specific needs. Typically, attorneys charge either a fixed fee or an hourly rate, which can range from hundreds to thousands of dollars per hour, with retainer fees often required upfront.

  • How long does a high-net-worth divorce take in New York?

    The duration of a high-net-worth divorce can also vary, depending on the number and type of marital assets at play, the willingness of the parties to negotiate, and the court's schedule. While an uncontested divorce can usually be finalized in a few months, contested or complex cases may take a year or more to resolve, especially if litigation becomes necessary.

  • What happens to a professional practice or family business after divorce?

    Professional practices and businesses are also subject to fair distribution. However, in circumstances where just one spouse is the professional or runs the business, it isn’t desirable to split up a functioning entity, as this can have a direct impact on business operations.

    In such situations, the business or practice would be awarded to the spouse who is the professional or running the company; the other spouse would be awarded another asset or property to satisfy equitable distribution.

  • What if separate assets have been commingled with marital property?

    If you’ve mixed or “commingled” your separate property with marital property, the courts will have to examine the property and determine how it should be divided with your spouse.

    To keep your separate property and assets in the divorce, you must prove that they were once exclusively yours. For example, if you acquired an asset from an inheritance or a lawsuit, you must trace its history and status during your marriage to retain it as yours alone. If you’re unable to do so, part or all of your separate property may be considered marital property.

    If you used your assets to purchase real estate, such as your family home, the contribution to the purchase made from the separate property will normally remain yours, and you can get it back after the property is sold.

  • What if one spouse hides assets fraudulently during a divorce?

    In high-asset cases where there’s much at stake, it’s common for one spouse to attempt to hide assets or transfer property without the other spouse's knowledge or consent before filing for divorce. When this happens, the courts can set aside the transfer as a fraudulent conveyance under N.Y. Debt & Cred. Law §§ Article 10, Section 273-A.

    When there’s a wrongful taking of property, a “constructive trust” may be set up to hold funds until the courts settle the issue.

  • What if I owned a business before the marriage?

    If you owned your business before the marriage, only the appreciation measured during the marriage is considered marital property and subject to equitable distribution. This requires a comparison of the company’s current value and its value at the time of the marriage to determine the amount of appreciation.

    Appraisers are typically retained to determine a company’s true earnings and what expenses and deductions should be legitimately allowed.

  • What tax matters must be considered in high-net-worth divorces?

    In a high-asset divorce, it's especially important to consider tax matters such as capital gains, future tax liabilities, and the tax basis of properties. There may be significant tax implications involved when a process involves the transfer or division of property or financial assets.

    Among other things, you must accurately determine the value of stock options and formulate a strategy for dealing with them. There are also tax considerations related to benefit plans, business entities, child support and spousal support arrangements, and real estate division.

    Depending on the situation, it may be necessary to consider deferred and other unique compensation arrangements as well as cash flow.