Getting Divorced with a High Asset Estate in Washington
Knowing how to get divorced if you have an estate with a net worth in excess of one million dollars is important to your future.
High asset estates often involve professionals, small business, partnerships, trusts, commercial properties, stock options or restricted stock units, and intellectual property. All of these assets are taken into consideration for property distribution, spousal maintenance, and even child support in a divorce.
The value of assets accrued before marriage or inherited as separate property during the marriage are also taken into consideration in family law and can even be allocated to the other party in a long-term marriage. Whether or not assets retain their character as separate property- accrued before marriage or by gift or inheritance during the marriage- is often an issue that can require tracing to prove the nature of the asset.
When dealing with a business or professional with a book of business the reputation of the business or professional is a valued asset referred to as “goodwill”. Valuation of businesses, goodwill and other interests may often require valuation experts and the involvement of CPAs, financial planners and estate attorneys.
Prenuptial agreements often do not protect high asset estates as planned. Planning and collaboration with experts is crucial to a high asset case. Even if you are able to reach an agreement without attorneys, the documents finalizing the matter with the court must be done with great attention to detail and be properly executed or it can have unintended consequences that can be difficult or impossible to fix in the future.