Divorcing when a couple has substantial wealth in New York can be a complex process. Individuals in this situation have several special considerations to keep in mind.
Understanding how to navigate these issues ensures a fair and equitable division of assets and financial protection for both parties.
Equitable distribution laws
New York follows equitable distribution, which means that couples divide marital property fairly but not necessarily equally in a divorce. The court must determine the meaning of “fair” in cases of significant assets. Factors in the decision include the length of the marriage, each party’s financial contributions and future financial needs.
Valuation of assets
The asset division process requires professional valuation of businesses, real estate, investments and other complex holdings. The involvement of appraisers and relevant financial experts ensures accurate assessments.
Many affluent couples sign agreements before marriage to protect their assets in case of divorce. These legally binding contracts can specify how asset division, spousal support and other financial matters. Enforcing an existing prenuptial agreement can simplify the divorce process.
High-asset divorces often come with complex tax considerations related to the sale and transfer of assets. Careful planning can help you minimize tax burdens during and after the divorce.
New York courts may award spousal support, also known as alimony, in divorces with significant wealth disparities. The judge considers factors like the standard of living during the marriage, the length of the marriage and each party’s financial circumstances.
Inherited or separate property
Assets you inherit or acquire before the marriage are typically separate property and not subject to division. However, commingling or using separate property for marital purposes can complicate matters. Protecting these assets may require legal strategies and documentation.
When one or both spouses own businesses, their valuation and division become particularly complex. Business appraisals, buyout agreements or other legal measures may be necessary to address these assets properly.
CNBC reported that the number of Americans worth at least $100 million has doubled since 2023. If you face high-income divorce, addressing these issues head-on can preserve your lifestyle.