A high net worth divorce tends to be more complex than typical divorces, as they involve couples with an estimated value of estate at around two million dollars.
High net-worth divorces are lengthier than ordinary divorces. This is because they involve the division of many costly properties and several valuable assets. This process can further be delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The short answer here is yes. Your net worth is especially relevant when determining support calculations and payments.
In high net-worth separations and divorces, the amount of child and spousal support a party is required to pay is expected to be quite significant. Both child and spousal support are calculated using formulas outlined in the Child Support Guidelines and Spousal Support Advisory Guidelines. Judges are constantly referring to these guidelines in determining the duration and amount of support.
Where a payor parent has an income over $150,000 per year, the Child Support Guidelines permit the court to use its discretion in deciding whether they want to depart from referring to the presumptive Table amount. However, because the court does not easily depart from the presumptive Table amount, income must greatly exceed the $150,000 threshold before courts adjust the table amount (Francis v. Baker). Courts have ordered Table support as high as $11,173 per month for a four-year-old child (Tauber v. Tauber).
Where a payor spouses’ income exceeds $350,000, support amounts tend to be quite high, subject to the discretion of the court. Courts have the final say over what amount is appropriate based on the particular facts of the case (Gray v. Gray).
While you should still retain a trained family lawyer for your high-net-worth divorce, there are alternatives to going to Court. For example, mediation, collaborative separation processes, and arbitration are sustainable options to consider when moving your matter forward. There are many advantages to these approaches, such as a quicker turnaround time, less costly, less daunting, and less time-consuming than a standard Court proceeding.
Helpful tips to consider including what you should and shouldn’t do in a high net divorce:
High net worth clients often own high-income properties, multiple properties and assets, they usually have pensions, significant savings, and even offshore accounts. For this reason, it may be in your best interest to enter a marriage contract, which would protect each parties’ assets throughout the divorce process.
It is always a good idea to exchange updated current financial statements with your spouse, no matter how well you may think you know the details of your spouse’s finances. By exchanging up-to-date financial statements, you will have a better insight into important information such as your spouse’s assets, debts, and properties.
It is unethical to hide or conceal your assets and contrary to the Family Law Act. It is important to disclose all your assets to the other party. If you fail to do so, it can essentially damage your credibility going forward.
It is imperative that you do not rush into a settlement. Take the appropriate time to consult with your lawyer and plan out the best strategy suited for your matter.
If you are considering getting a divorce, or believe that your spouse is considering divorcing you, you should take this opportunity to speak with a lawyer. An experienced lawyer will understand and reiterate the importance of having a complete, comprehensive report of your matrimonial and financial affairs.
At Nussbaum Law, we understand the difficulties of this process. We are committed to learning the particulars of your specific case and assisting you during your divorce.