High-asset divorce cases and high net worth divorce cases in Georgia are often complicated in nature due to the amount of assets and property involved and the contention over how it will be characterized, valued, and divided. Reaching a resolution on alimony (spousal support) and child support can also create challenges in divorces that involve high assets and net worth in Georgia. When a prenuptial agreement or postnuptial agreement is in place, it can further add to the level of complexity of the divorce and the need for an experienced high asset divorce lawyer. The handling of a high-asset divorce case often entails additional privacy concerns. Georgia is considered an equitable distribution state. This means all property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property and is to be divided equitably among the spouses. Marital debts, or debts amassed during marriage, will also be divided equitably, which means that the court will award what is fair based upon a number of factors including who has the financial ability to pay. Separate property is not included in the division of marital property under Georgia divorce law. Separate property may include the following:
- Property acquired prior to marriage;
- Property acquired by inheritance or by gift from a third party;
- Property acquired in exchange for property acquired prior to the marriage ;
- Property acquired in exchange for property acquired by gift, bequest, devise, or descent;
- Property acquired after a decree of legal separation; and
- Property that is included in a written agreement such as a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement.
In order to divide property and assets in a Georgia divorce, steps should be taken to determine the characterization and value of the property as follows:
- A determination as to the characterization of the property such as whether the property is “marital property” or “separate property”;
- A determination as to the value of the property which may be done by mutual agreement of the value or by appraisal; and
- A division of the marital property after the property has been characterized and valued.
Because there is generally more property and assets involved in a high-asset divorce, agreement on the characterization, value, and division can be extremely challenging and contentious. Stock portfolios, bank accounts, real estate investment properties, business ownership, pensions, and 401K retirement funds, for example, can contribute to the complexity in settling or litigating a Georgia high-asset divorce case. High asset divorce cases are particularly unique in that they often require the high asset divorce attorney involved in the case to have experience working with other professionals such as CPAs, forensic accountants, and business and home appraisers in order to protect a client’s interests and rights. An experienced high asset divorce lawyer in Georgia will have the knowledge to handle complex community property litigation and settlement issues such as the following:
- Business valuations;
- Stock portfolios;
- Home equity increases on the marital residence;
- Real estate property, investment property, vacation homes, and timeshares;
- Finance, tax, and debt issues in divorce;
- Gifts and inheritances in divorce;
- Retirement funds and 401k savings plans in divorce;
- Qualified Domestic Relations Orders (QDROs) and pension valuation;
- Protecting businesses and professional practices;
- Preserving investments in divorce;
- Preserving assets in divorce;
- Overseas investments and overseas assets;
- Uncovering hidden assets in divorce;
- Deferred compensation for executive level income;
- Life insurance policies in divorce;
- Debts and liabilities in divorce;
- Settlements and litigation involving prenuptial agreements and postnuptial agreements;
- Child support and alimony; and
- Marital property, separate property laws.
Whether you are a CEO, CFO, or executive of a multi-million dollar company, a doctor, a lawyer, an entrepreneur, a politician, or a spouse of a high-status or high net-worth individual and you are going through or considering a divorce, it is important that you consult with an experienced high asset divorce attorney to help you protect your rights and assets. Our family law attorneys have a combined experience of more than 11 years of handling family law disputes with a track record of success in representing clients in Roswell, GA and in different counties all across the Atlanta area, including the cities of Canton, Marietta, Roswell, Sandy Springs, Cumming, Norcross, Duluth, Newnan, Dunwoody, John’s Creek, Woodstock, and Atlanta.
Contact us today and get the help you need to protect your assets and interests in your divorce.