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Three Types of Assets Unique to High-Asset Divorces

When you and your spouse choose to pursue a divorce, you’ll need to equitably divide all of your marital property through the process known as “asset division” or “property division.” Through this process, the value of the marital property is added up, and both spouses take their share based on the value, which often requires extensive negotiation. In extremely simple cases, a couple may own a house, a car or two, a few possessions like furniture or electronics, and maybe some savings and cash. Dividing these assets is usually fairly simple.

High-asset divorces on the other hand are considerably more complex. In high-asset cases, or cases where both spouses are particularly wealthy, the assets may come in a number of different forms, and the nature of these types of assets makes them confusing and difficult to handle. When you’re considering a high-asset divorce, it’s important to plan ahead and know what you may face in the future.

Here are three types of assets that are found in high-asset divorce cases that it’s a good idea to understand in greater detail.

Investments

Dividing investments is extremely tricky, mainly because there are seemingly as many different types of investments as there are stars in the sky or fish in the sea. People use investments as a way of storing capital, increasing wealth, or even helping someone make a life of their own while continuing to grow their own portfolio.

Perhaps the most common type of investment is a retirement portfolio. Investments like a 401(k), IRA, or other retirement savings account are all subject to equitable distribution during this process. That’s right, you could lose a large chunk of your hard-earned retirement savings as a result of a marital dissolution. Be prepared to negotiate around this fact.

In some cases, investments are tangible. For example, if you purchased a second property that you use as a rental and occasional vacation home, then that home is also subject to distribution. In most cases, the easiest solution is to sell that home to turn it into liquid assets, and then split the proceeds equitably.

Business Assets

Dividing business assets requires a strategy that’s about as unique as you are. No two businesses are alike, and thus no two businesses can properly utilize the same strategy and plan. The biggest factor is how the business itself is held: if it’s been a sole proprietorship for its entire duration throughout the marriage, then dividing the assets is fairly straightforward. However, most businesses are some form of a partnership, LLC, corporation, or other entity with more people involved in ownership. How are those divided? The easy answer is that most of the time the couple will be required to sell off their ownership interests in the company in order to accumulate the assets, which are then divided equitably. However, this isn’t always required. As a business owner, it’s absolutely pivotal you have a Leesburg divorce attorney on your side who is experienced in high-asset divorce matters in order to make sure you have adequate representation and advocacy throughout this process.

Intellectual Property

Intellectual property is unique in that it isn’t necessarily something tangible. It could be a thought or idea, a sound, a sight, or even a smell. It could be the words on paper that make up a best-selling novel. It could be a hit song from a recording artist. In any case, intellectual property can hold considerable value, and that value could be subject to distribution.

If the property was obtained during the marriage, then it’s subject to the distribution process. However, if it was obtained before the marriage and then brought into the relationship, then the property itself is individually held. That being said, any increases in the value of that property that occurred during the marriage are subject to distribution, so there could still be some portion of that property that’s up for negotiation.

To learn more about your rights during a high-asset divorce, call Jody Fisher Law at (352) 503-4111 today to schedule a case evaluation.
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