High Asset Divorce
The Benefits of Hiring an Experienced Grand Rapids High Asset Divorce Attorney
For couples with substantial assets, getting a divorce can be a high-stakes proposition. Whether you and your spouse have both contributed financially for years (or decades), or one of you is the primary or sole earner, under Michigan law, any assets acquired during your marriage are likely to be subject to division in your divorce.
Depending upon the circumstances, certain assets that you or your spouse brought with you into your marriage could be on the table, too. Michigan law treats commingled “separate” assets similarly to “marital” assets in most cases. Appreciation, renovations, mutual contributions to a business or professional practice, and other issues can also complicate high-net-worth property divisions; and, to make sure you leave your marriage with your fair share, it is critical to hire an experienced Grand Rapids high-asset divorce attorney.
Decades of Experience in Protecting Spousal Rights
At Kraayeveld Law, we bring decades of experience in representing spouses in high-net-worth (or “high asset”) divorces. Our Grand Rapids high asset divorce attorneys have the experience and are knowledgeable about the complex legal issues involved, and we are intimately familiar with the unique negotiating challenges that often force high-net-worth couples into litigation. While we work with our clients to achieve amicable property settlements whenever possible – including using mediation when necessary – we are also aggressive divorce litigation attorneys who will not hesitate to fight for our clients’ desired property rights in court or during arbitration.
Unique Property-Related Issues in Michigan High Asset Divorces
For high-net-worth couples, even determining which assets are on the table can be a significant challenge. Once you know what you need to protect, then you can begin the process of designing and executing a strategy to secure the property rights you desire. We guide our high-net-worth clients through this entire process step-by-step, helping them assess their priorities, anticipate their spouses’ goals and work toward achieving a favorable outcome.
Some examples of the types of issues that can often lead to conflict in high-net-worth divorces include:
- Identification of separate and marital assets
- Terms and enforceability of prenuptial and postnuptial agreements
- Valuation of personal property, stock options, deferred compensation plans and retirement accounts
- Valuation of businesses and professional degrees
- Business management and control
- Real estate appraisals for private residences and investment properties
- Disputes among valuation experts
- Alimony (spousal support) awards in light of the availability of assets
While divorcing spouses will often be on the same page with respect to certain assets that were primarily used by one spouse or the other, in high asset divorces a certain amount of conflict is inevitable. We help our clients explore creative solutions, including or avoiding incorporating alimony provisions into their divorce judgments when necessary to reach an agreement, and we make clear that our clients will not back down when conflicts arise.
Splitting Retirement Funds
Pension benefits and retirement accounts like 401(k)s and 403(b)s are considered property for divorce purposes, but courts often grapple with complicated questions about how to handle them. Whether these assets are considered separate or marital property and how they are divided often depends largely on the specific factual circumstances.
The portion of a pension earned during the course of a marriage is typically considered marital property. There are a number of ways to calculate the value of a pension, however. That is why it is critical to consult an experienced divorce lawyer to ensure that the value is accurately calculated and property is fairly divided.
Similarly, money contributed to a retirement savings account—and any increase in the value of the investments—during a marriage are also subject to division among the spouses in the event of a divorce.
In cases where both spouses are working and have their own separate retirement savings, they may be allowed to keep those savings separate. In other cases, a court may order one spouse to pay the other his or her interest in the retirement account as an offset. That can happen either at the time of the divorce or as pension benefits start coming in.
Speak with an Experienced Grand Rapids High Asset Divorce Attorney
If you are preparing to go through a divorce in Grand Rapids, we encourage you to get in touch. To speak with one of our attorneys about your high-net-worth divorce, please call 616-285-0808 or contact us online. We will schedule your confidential initial consultation as soon as possible.