Manhattan High Asset Divorce Attorney

Safeguarding Your Assets In High Net Worth Divorces

 

The higher your assets, the more is at stake in your divorce, and the more complex it will probably be. While all divorcing couples must make life-altering decisions affecting their children, living arrangements, and financial futures, 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 in the process.

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

WHAT IS CONSIDERED A HIGH ASSET DIVORCE?

High asset divorces generally involve more than $5 million in liquid assets in multiple forms. When assets are varied and may include business interests, international investments, inheritances and trusts, retirement accounts and pension plans, real estate, jewelry, and collectibles, it can be difficult to value and categorize them as marital or non-marital property. Dividing these assets requires attorneys who are 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 high net worth and significant assets negotiate the process of a divorce. We also work with professionals who specialize in the areas of financial investigation, asset appraisals and accounting.

Protect your assets. Don’t leave your wealth at risk. Use a law firm with experience in divorce cases like yours. Contact our Manhattan high asset divorce lawyers at (718) 942-4004 today.

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Why Choose Our Firm When You Need a High Net Worth Divorce Attorney in Manhattan?

WHEN HIGHER ASSETS CAN LEAD TO HIGHER CONFLICT, YOU NEED SKILLED REPRESENTATION.

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Our attorneys understand that when people have more to lose, they are more apt to fight and be vindictive and are less likely to compromise. As a result, our attorneys are extremely diplomatic in how we handle these cases. We walk a fine balance between zealously protecting our clients’ rights while preserving relationships and avoiding additional conflict.

HOW THE LEVORITZ LAW FIRM CAN HELP YOU

Regardless of the extent of your assets, properties, businesses, and accounts, our attorneys will zealously protect your interests. There are specific steps we take to protect our high asset clients. We will…
  • Perform a thorough analysis of how your assets and debts were handled during the marriage, protect your right to your separate property and seek a favorable and equitable distribution of your marital property.
  • Come up with fair evaluation of your varied marital assets.
  • Examine financial disclosure evidence provided by both spouses, such as pay stubs, income tax returns, and bank statements, to ensure that the information listed in required affidavits is correct.
  • Deal with the complicated tax, benefits and retirement considerations that arise in a high asset divorce.
  • Use skilled professionals such as financial advisors to determine the short- and long-term impact of dividing property, including analysis of pension and retirement plans.
  • Examine, enforce, and challenge the legality of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements.
  • Hire forensic accountants to determine whether your spouse is attempting to hide assets or taking other fraudulent action.
  • Protect you from becoming financially liable for debts associated with your spouse and their business enterprises.
We believe it is best to address high asset property division issues amicably and to negotiate a settlement outside of court if possible. However, when necessary, we will strongly represent your interests in court. Attorney Yoni Levoritz is a highly skilled litigator, arguing many cases at the appellate level. TALK TO AN ATTORNEY

Our High Asset Divorce Lawyer Explains the Basics of Marital Property Division

YOU CAN PROTECT YOUR INDIVIDUAL PROPERTY IN A HIGH ASSET DIVORCE

New York is an equitable distribution state. This means that marital property will be split in a way the courts feel is a fair and just manner, but not necessarily equally.

WHAT ASSETS ARE DIVIDED IN DIVORCE?

Marital property is generally considered to be all property acquired by the parties, individually or jointly, during the marriage, even if the property is titled in the name of one spouse only. The courts do not divide separate property, which is generally anything acquired before marriage and not brought into the estate, (such as property owned before marriage). Separate property is also inherited property, gifts from third parties to one of the parties, and money received from a personal injury or workers’ compensation recovery. All such property is generally exempt from equitable distribution. However, if you and your spouse have an existing marital agreement, such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, certain property may be excluded from the marital estate. Common examples of assets that are considered marital property include:
  • Your 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.
For high net worth individuals, divorce is complicated by many factors. There are a greater number and value of assets than in a typical divorce, and planning needs to be made for equitable distribution of multiple homes and properties, wide-reaching and international investments, professional practices and businesses, and other substantial assets. Our property division lawyers at The Levoritz Law Firm recognizes the importance of keeping your hard-earned assets. We will do everything possible to ensure a fair distribution.

WHAT COURTS CONSIDER WHEN MAKING EQUITABLE DISTRIBUTIONS IN HIGH ASSET DIVORCES

The courts look at certain factors in determining how to distribute property to make sure this is done in a fair and equitable manner. Considerations include:
  • The income of each spouse and 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
  • Whether the court has already awarded spousal support
  • Health insurance, pension, their value, and rights to inheritance that both spouses will lose after the divorce
  • Whether either of the spouses has transferred any matrimonial property after contemplating the divorce and without fairly considering the other partner
  • Tax consequences and the future financial circumstances of each spouse
  • Whether both spouses have equitable claim over the matrimonial property
  • The liquid or non-liquid character of all marital property
  • Whether either party has committee domestic violence
  • Other factors that the court deems important, just, and proper that require consideration.
In high asset cases, there may be vast disparities which require consideration in areas such as earning ability, inheritances, and tax consequences. Our Manhattan high asset divorce attorneys will work closely with you to come up with a strategy designed to have the best outcome for your unique situation.

Our Manhattan High Asset Divorce Lawyer Answers Frequently Asked Questions

The following are answers to questions our attorneys are often asked by clients facing the high asset divorce process.
  • My spouse is refusing to adhere to the property division provisions in our prenuptial agreement. What recourse do I have?
    It would depend on your individual situation. Pre- and post-nuptial agreements are contracts and are subject to breach-of-contract enforcement. The courts have the ability to review and make decisions related to them. Our lawyers will review your agreement to make sure it was constructed correctly and can be enforced by the courts. We will argue on your behalf to ensure that your spouse adheres to legally made provisions.
  • Who gets the family home in a New York divorce?
    Your family home will be part of the equitable distribution process, just like other assets. If there are children involved, the judge might award the spouse who has main physical custody of the children the house and give the other spouse different assets and property to balance out the distribution of your shared real property assets. Sometimes one spouse may buy out the other spouse’s share of the house, or it may be sold as part of marital property and the monies divided as part of the distribution.
  • What happens to a professional practice or family business?
    Professional practices and businesses are also subject to fair distribution. However, in circumstances when just one spouse is the professional or runs the business, it is not 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, and the other spouse would then be awarded another asset or property to satisfy equitable distribution.
  • What if separate assets have been commingled with marital property?
    If you have mixed or “commingled” your separate property with marital property, the courts would have to examine the situation and determine how it should be divided with your spouse. To retain your separate property and assets as your own in the divorce, you must prove that property was once exclusively yours. If you acquired it from an inheritance or a lawsuit, you must trace the history of that asset and what happened to it during your marriage to retain it as yours alone. If you are unable to do so, part or all your separate property may now be considered to be marital property. If your individual assets were used to purchase real estate, such as your family home, the contribution to the purchase made from separate property will normally remain yours, and you can get this back after the property is sold. Our skilled high net worth divorce attorneys and the forensic accountants we use will work to untangle commingled property and allow you to keep what should be yours.
  • What if a spouse hides assets fraudulently?
    In high asset cases that have so much at stake, it is more common for a spouse to attempt to hide assets or transfer property without the other spouse’s knowledge or consent prior to filing for divorce. If this was done to fraudulently hide assets in a divorce, the courts can set aside the transfer as a fraudulent conveyance under the N.Y. Debt & Cred. Law §§ Article 10, Section 273-A. In some cases, where there is a wrongful taking of the property, a “constructive trust” may be set up to hold funds until the courts settle the issues. Our attorneys use forensic accounting to track down fraudulent activities and hidden assets. We depend upon the skill of forensic accountants to assess the actual total value of financial holdings of both parties and accurately label which property is marital or separate.
  • What if I owned a business before the marriage?
    If your business was owned prior to the marriage, only the appreciation of the business during the marriage is “marital” property and subject to equitable distribution. This means the current value of the business must be compared to the value of the business at the time of the marriage to determine the appreciation during the marriage. An appraiser would be retained to determine the true earnings of the business and what expenses and deductions should be legitimately allowed.
  • What tax matters must be considered in divorce?
    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. When a process involves the transfer or division of property or financial assets, there may also be significant tax implications involved. The value of stock options needs to be accurately determined and a strategy for dealing with them crafted. There are tax considerations related to benefit plans, business entities, child support and spousal support arrangements, and real estate division. Depending on the individual situation, it may be necessary to consider deferred and other unique compensation arrangements as well as cash flow.
For questions and concerns related to your unique situation, contact our Manhattan law firm at (718) 942-4004 or through our online form to arrange a consultation. CONTACT OUR TEAM

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    (718) 942-4004

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    WE HELP PREVENT HIGH ASSET DIVORCE MISTAKES

    High asset divorce mistakes can be extremely costly to your future and disruptive to your way of life. When you choose The Levoritz Law Firm, you will be working with divorce attorneys who help you envision the whole picture in a calm and rational manner. Divorces are difficult enough without having to be weighed down with added financial stress that could come with the fear of losing significant assets. Count on our attorneys to guide you through all decisions that can impact your current and future finances.

    We will ensure that you carefully consider the terms of any potential agreement, instead of making the mistake of acting on emotion and accepting something that is less than desirable and fair, just to get through the divorce process. We will keep you from making the fatal mistake of hiding assets, which can leave you open to charges of fraud and hurt your position in the divorce settlement.

    To prevent a potential loss to you, we also take steps to ensure that your divorcing spouse does not hide assets. We will uncover the full financial picture of your assets so the division of those assets is equitable. To do so, we will use the process of discovery and work with forensic accountants who can assist in tracing investments and in uncovering both hidden assets and undisclosed asset transfers. Because high asset couples often have investments in multiple states, if not internationally, we also track down assets outside of New York. Per N.Y. Civil Practice Law, Section 3119, we use of the discovery process and depositions to be sure we identify the full picture of assets held by you and your spouse.

    WE CRAFT SPOUSAL AND CHILD SUPPORT AGREEMENTS THAT PROTECT YOUR INTERESTS AND THOSE OF YOUR CHILDREN

    In high asset divorces, it is not uncommon for one spouse to earn significantly more than their partner. In this case, spousal maintenance and child support are likely to be awarded and must be planned for. In New York, a divorcing spouse may file for spousal support if they have become dependent on their spouse for the standard of living established during the course of the marriage. We know how important it is to retain financial stability as you go through a divorce and plan for life after your marriage ends. Our goal is to maintain that stability and to protect your assets and your financial future. We work to negotiate support agreements that can be reached through settlement rather than litigation.

    Factors on whether a court will award spousal support include the financial resources of both spouses, including the separate estates of each party, and each spouse’s ability to meet their financial needs independently, including any dependent child, or children, of each individual. The goal is to retain the standard of living established during the marriage. To accomplish this goal, the earning ability, job skills, and job market for each party’s profession are considered. In the case of a financially dependent spouse, consideration is also made for the time needed to obtain adequate training or education to increase that spouse’s earning ability.

    In addition, we plan for protection of your children’s interests when child support agreements must be negotiated. Maintenance of their current standard of living is our goal, and we will work to craft an agreement that meets that goal. As we address child support arrangements, we also take into consideration your overall financial picture. Our process provides a holistic approach that strategizes around tax implications of the payment or receipt of child support.

    ZEALOUS LITIGATORS

    We know that going to trial in a divorce is stressful and difficult for clients and their families. This can be especially so when there are children involved. Our New York divorce lawyers ensure that our high asset clients experience the least amount of stress and disruption to their family lives as possible. We will work hard to negotiate with your spouse and their attorney to get the best possible results for you and your children. But when that cannot be achieved through negotiation, and trial is the only way to get you the results you need in your divorce case, we will fight tenaciously for you in court. We are highly experienced litigators who are very comfortable in the courtroom. We regularly handle cases at the appellate level.

    Your future depends on which attorney you choose to guide you through the high asset divorce process and to negotiate on your behalf. Choose experience. Choose skill. Choose The Levoritz Law Firm. Call us today at (718) 942-4004.