When executives, entrepreneurs, business owners and other high net worth individuals divorce, immediate attention is required. These matters involve multifaceted, diverse, high (and frequently hard to value) assets and income streams. High Asset Divorce needs legal experience beyond dealing with the ‘typical’ divorce case because of its complexity. Failure to address those complexities from the onset may have lasting, long term consequences.
Attorneys who deal with high net worth divorces must thoroughly understand the many issues surrounding business valuation, complex alternative investments, multiple trusts, overseas accounts and holdings, real estate, taxes, inheritance, retirement benefits, stock options, and the possible effects of prenuptial agreements.
That’s just to start – it almost always gets incrementally intricate from there.
Executive, entrepreneur, and professional divorces may well involve byzantine histories and require extensive documentation far beyond those in most divorces. Halligan LLC is adept at compiling that documentation.
Regardless, the stakes – now and in the future – are high and the outcomes can have immense, long lasting impacts on quality of life, distribution of assets, support, and more - for years. Perhaps for generations.
Halligan LLC has the experience needed to handle the complexities of High Asset Divorce. We also have a long history of working successfully with professionals – our own and our clients’ - in business valuation, business and estate planning, and more that uniquely places us in position to help our clients through the most overwhelming financial issues.
The Financial Picture
Almost every High Asset Divorce requires a team effort. It starts with meeting with us (and, again, that should happen as early as possible) to help us identify and put together a team - appraisers and valuation experts, accountants, and financial planners - who specialize in divorce.
If needed, court orders can be obtained to stop asset liquidations not in your interest and/or to protect cash flows from a business or ensure its continued operation.
High net worth divorces require a careful consideration of realistic scenarios – short and long term. “If we do this now, it could . . .” is a phrase that will be repeated often throughout the course of a high net worth divorce.
The attorneys at Halligan LLC have experience across a wide variety of the issues that typically arise during High Net Worth family law cases. Just as importantly, we know how to organize, how to work with financial professionals, and how to present our findings – and our recommendations – in a logical, easy to understand manner.
These are just a few of those issues:
A business or professional practice is frequently a major asset of a marriage. Determining the value of that business can be problematic – especially when one spouse is the owner and the other is not. Valuation methods vary by business type and can be asset-based, income-based, or market-comparable-based. The difference between those approaches can be considerable.
Many assets such as copyrights, trademarks, patents, and other intellectual property are difficult, at best, to value and opinions can vary dramatically.
There may be considerable tax consequences: There may well be significant tax differences with different property divisions and/or spousal support awards. In any event, taxes and potential taxes require careful analysis and planning.
There can be wide ranging, complex assets such as multiple businesses, art, antiques, collections, partnership agreements, employment agreements, employee benefit plans, defined benefit plans, inheritances, prenuptial agreements, and benefit and retirement plans. Where this occurs the team approach is vital to a good resolution.
Sometimes there are hidden assets, or assets that have been artificially ‘deflated’ in value for the short term. Halligan. LLC and our partners are adept at uncovering them.
Alternatives to Litigation
The stakes are high in High Asset Divorce. Tensions can quickly escalate, and the divorce can become contentious. Talking early with your spouse about an alternative to litigation such as mediation should be a consideration. In Colorado. Mediation is mandatory prior to a divorce trial. The earlier in the process you prepare for the mediation and talk to your spouse about it, the better.
It’s important, sometimes vitally so, to try to avoid, or at least minimize, the chance a spouse will become combative. That almost inevitably leads to heavy litigation, lengthy and intense discovery, and bad faith negotiations –which almost always creates unwanted publicity.
Work with us to explore and execute these alternatives.