Special Considerations in Kansas High Net Worth Divorces
Feb. 15, 2015
When parties contemplate the prospect of a divorce, they frequently have concerns about their financial future. These worries are understandable because the division of your property will mean each spouse will have less net worth after a divorce than prior to the marital dissolution. The division of retirement accounts also can impact both parties long-term financial security. Spousal support orders also will impact the monthly disposable income of both parties to a divorce.
The complexity of financial issues in a marital dissolution becomes even more complicated in a high net worth divorce. These cases can require tracing of assets if a spouse hides income often by failing to disclose cash transactions associated with a business. Kansas high net worth attorney J. Joseph Weber recognizes that tax returns and/or profit and loss statements often do not provide a complete picture of assets and business income. Mr. Weber routinely looks behind these types of documents to identify hidden assets and diverted income.
Use of the Discovery Process
Mr. Weber uses the discovery process to seek relevant business and personal financial documents to smoke out attempts by the other party to frustrate the courts ability to achieve an “equitable” (i.e. fair) division of property. This process may involve carefully analyzing expenditures through receipts, bank records, credit card statements and other documents much as the IRS does when it suspects that income is being understated.
When the other party in a divorce refuses to comply with discovery requests seeking financial documents and information, we are prepared to file a motion to compel discovery. The court can impose sanctions on the other party in the form of an attorney fee award if we prevail on this motion. Our law firm is thorough in conducting the discovery process because the information obtained regarding financial information and assets will have a dramatic impact on the final property division and spousal support.
Testimony of Financial Experts
Most high net worth divorces involve the use of forensic experts by one or both parties. These experts might include forensic accountants to trace the source of funds and identify hidden income. Many divorces involving parties with substantial assets require valuation and division of a business. If the parties cannot agree on the value of the business and the proper division of interest in the business, a business valuation expert may be necessary. Although there are multiple business valuation methods, an experienced high net worth divorce lawyer understands the importance of using the appropriate valuation method for a business or other hard to value assets like antiques, stock options, collectibles and rare artwork.
When parties enter a divorce with substantial assets or ownership of a business, tracing becomes important especially when marital funds are commingled with separate funds or assets that belonged solely to one spouse prior to the marriage. These issues also must be dealt with when income earned during the marriage is used to pay for maintenance or improvement of property owned exclusively by one spouse prior to the marriage. While an experienced Kansas divorce attorney will typically be able to perform tracing when marital income is contributed to the possession of a home owned prior to the marriage by one of the spouses, this process can be far more complicated depending on the asset. In such cases, it might be prudent to retain an expert or professional appraisal.
If you have questions about high net worth divorce, we welcome the opportunity to talk to you and answer your questions. We invite you to call us or submit an inquiry form through this website to schedule your initial consultation.