Montgomery County Complex High Asset Divorce Attorney
High asset divorces have a notorious reputation for being extremely strenuous and costly, leaving the lives of all involved parties in tatters when everything is said and done. However, it does not have to be that way. It takes an exceptional understanding of finance and tax law, in addition to extensive experience handling a variety of divorce cases, to effectively protect an individual's assets throughout a high-end divorce. Sheryl R. Rentz is skilled at tackling the complicated financial issues that arise in high-asset and high-end divorces and works closely with each and every client to understand and fight for his or her best interests.
Q: What is a high asset divorce?
A: Typically, value and variety of the marital assets attained by the couple during marriage are extensive. They can include businesses, portfolios, retirement and pension plans, inheritance, stock options, timeshares and real estate. Due to the complex nature and significant worth of these assets, high asset divorces can be difficult affairs, and matters can get even more contentious when considerations of child support, alimony, relocation and other family law issues come into the equation.
Q: How is equitable distribution determined when high assets are involved?
A: Pennsylvania's rule of equitable distribution does not enforce a 50/50 split of marital assets, but rather, each spouse is accorded a portion of marital assets based on his/her unique situation. For example, the spouse with sole or primary custody of children may receive an increased portion of marital assets.
Q: How do high assets affect alimony and child support?
A: Spouses have financial obligations to each other and their children during and after the divorce process. Additionally, they have the right to expect a similar quality of life in divorce as in marriage. In most cases, the state calculates alimony and child support according to the guidelines established in the Pennsylvania Code. Considerations include the earning abilities of both spouses and the needs of the spouse asking for support.
Q: Does the involvement of high assets impact child custody and relocation procedures?
A: Generally, no. The factors that influence child custody and relocation judgments are the same in a high asset divorce as they are in a regular divorce. As long as each spouse can provide for the basic needs of the child, the court does not take financial status and assets into account when making a decision. Rather, the court primarily focuses on factors that affect the well-being of the child, including the quality of the relationship between each parent and the child, past abusive conduct or criminal history and the condition of living quarters.
A custodial spouse may organize a change in residence of the child as long as all other parties with custodial rights receive notification of the proposal at an appropriate time, all parties consent to the relocation, and the proposal receives court approval.
Marital property is all property acquired by either party during the course of the marriage. It also includes any increase in the value of nonmarital property brought to the marriage by either party beginning from when the marriage began. This can include securities, bonds, bank accounts, automobiles, household furniture, jewelry, paintings etc.
Nonmarital property includes the property that either party possessed prior to the marriage, excluding any increase in value from after the marriage began. Nonmarital property is anything that both parties designated in a signed agreement to be excluded from marital property. Another example of nonmarital property includes veterans benefits which qualify for exemption, as well as any payment from an award or settlement which accrued before the marriage began or after the final separation.
The court seeks to "equitably" divide, assign or distribute, those assets determined to be marital property. The court may review each asset and make determinations based on relevant factors such as:
- The duration of the marriage
- The age and physical or mental health of either party
- Economic circumstances of each party at the time of the marital property division
- Sources of income for either party, as well as their earning potential based on skills, experience and education
- Any contribution(s) by one party to the training or education of the other, relative to their ability to earn income
- Other assets such as medical benefits, retirement accounts, and life insurance
- Assessing the current value of other marital property
- Contributions of a party as a homemaker
- The standard of living that the parties had during the marriage
- The tax consequences associated with the distribution of assets
- Whether a party will be assigned custody of children
An Montgomery County high profile divorce attorney with both legal and financial knowledge, as well as a strong track record of success, will work diligently to protect your assets and entitlements. Attorney Sheryl R. Rentz can provide the following:
- Investigation of Hidden Assets – We will search for marital assets, unreported income, and debts that your spouse may have hidden from you, such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, insurance policies, and cash.
- Business Valuation – In order to determine the full and fair value of businesses that you or your spouse own, our legal team will work with business valuation experts to evaluate debt, good will of the business, accounts receivable, and other business assets when pursuing a fair division of marital property.
- Alimony Agreement Negotiation – If one spouse is financially dependent on the other, he or she will need to have a fair and just alimony agreement to provide sufficient support for life after the divorce.
- Stock Option Division – High income couples often have vested stock options that may be divided during divorce. We will help you reach a settlement determining who will pay taxes and how the stock options may be divided in the future.
A pre-marital agreement is a legal document agreed upon, signed, and entered into a couple's marriage. These agreements may also be referred to as ante-nuptial or pre-nuptial agreements. These agreements will generally be valid as long as they were entered into voluntarily, put in writing, and followed full and fair disclosure rules at the time it was signed.
If you are going through a divorce, the last thing you want is for the private details of your separation to become public. Even peaceful divorces involve disagreements that are best kept private. Details involving personal finances, the division of property and the reasons for the separation are all personal information the public doesn’t need to know. Having your personal information splashed across the media can be traumatic for you, your ex and any children involved in the divorce, as well.
Unless you obtain a confidentiality agreement, there is no way your private information won’t get shared publicly, or become tabloid fodder. So, if you’d like to protect information about your assets, business or family members, contact the experienced Pennsylvania divorce attorneys at the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz to find out how we can help protect your privacy and personal information.
Confidentiality agreements are ideal for spouses involved in a high-profile divorce or a divorce involving valuable and sensitive information. There are many reasons why you’d want to protect personal details about your life and practices. You may want a confidentiality agreement if:
- You are a business owner.
- You want to protect information about family business investments.
- There are personal issues you would like to keep quiet.
- You would rather not have relationship issues such as adultery become public knowledge.
- You want to keep the reasons why you or your spouse filed for divorce private.
- There is information gathered or agreements created before the marriage or even after the divorce that should remain confidential.
You can use a confidentiality agreement to protect details of your pre-nuptial agreement or any changes made to the divorce decree after the divorce is final. Even if you are not involved in a high-profile divorce, you still may want to keep your personal matters private. An experienced Montgomery County divorce lawyer can help put together a confidentiality agreement that covers all discussions, negotiations and details exchanged during the creation of the pre-nuptial or post-nuptial agreement.
Spousal Support is a type of support paid to a dependent spouse when the parties are still married, but are living separately. This is classified as an "interim" award that typically ends when the divorce decree is signed.
Alimony Pendente Lite (APL) is an order put in place by the court when a dependent spouse is seeking financial support involving a divorce. APL is put in place during the interim period of a divorce process.
Alimony is a type of support paid to a spouse or former spouse in conjunction with a decree of divorce or annulment. Essentially, alimony is a post-divorce solution for support which has an amount and a term that is ordered at the discretion of the court.
Our skilled litigators are capable of handling the most complex divorces involving multiple residences, vacation property, retirement packages, investment portfolios, luxury vehicles, art and antiques, and commercial property. We will thoroughly evaluate the various issues related to your divorce to help you avoid costly mistakes when dividing high-end assets. Get started on a smoother divorce process today by calling the Law Offices of Sheryl R. Rentz, P.C. at (610) 645-0100 or (866) 290-9292.
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