Typically, any divorce in which the divorcing spouses control more than several million dollars’ worth of property qualifies as a “high net worth divorce” in Wichita, KS. Divorce can be contentious even when vast sums of money aren’t involved. It is easy to see how wealthier couples may have additional concerns as they brace for their divorce proceedings. If you are ending your marriage in the Wichita, KS area, and control substantial assets, you have much on the line. It’s only natural to want to protect your interests as much as possible during your divorce proceedings.
Dependable legal counsel is essential for anyone approaching a high net worth divorce case. Your legal representative will identify the key issues most likely to cause problems in your divorce case, especially those involving your financial assets and property. You may also require professional support from outside of your legal team as well.
Common Assets Involved in High Net Worth Divorces
Wealthier couples generally control several types of property. This may include real estate, business holdings, stock options, investment accounts, and many more. It is essential for high net worth individuals to carefully document all of their property exchanges, account changes, and revenue streams. These records can potentially become incredibly important in a future divorce case.
Your Wichita, KS divorce attorney can help you identify the assets and properties most likely to generate ownership disputes in your divorce case. Kansas is an equitable distribution state, meaning most family court judges seek equitable divorce terms in favor of long-term support arrangements. This means it is often possible for divorcing spouses to barter assets for others when they privately negotiate their divorces. When they litigate, a judge may decide which spouse retains ownership over which assets.
One of the biggest challenges in many high net worth divorce cases is the nature of some investments. For example, if the divorcing couple must sell a particular asset or liquidate an account and split the proceeds, doing so may incur significant fees and penalties depending on the nature of the investment. It’s essential to have reliable legal representation if you want to determine the most reasonable asset division in a high net worth divorce case.
Expert Witnesses in High Net Worth Divorce Cases
It’s not uncommon for Wichita, KS divorce attorneys to arrange expert witness testimony to support their clients. An expert witness may act in a consolatory capacity to provide a Wichita, KS with a clearer understanding of difficult financial questions. Expert witnesses may also testify in divorce cases to provide the judge with an impartial, professional interpretation of the couple’s situation.
Expert witnesses who often participate in high net worth divorce cases generally include financial advisors who may be able to clarify property ownership rights or appraisers who can accurately estimate the value of certain assets, such as artwork and sculptures. Your attorney may also consult tax experts to determine if certain property ownership determinations would help or hinder your tax liability. Forensic accountants may also participate in a high net worth divorce case if there is any question as to whether one of the divorcing spouses has concealed assets subject to division under Kansas state law.
Work closely with your Wichita, KS divorce attorney to determine whether expert witness testimony is necessary for your high net worth divorce case. If you have any suspicions that your soon-to-be-ex has hidden properties or concealed assets subject to division in divorce, notify your attorney immediately.
How Might Someone Conceal Assets?
It’s possible to conceal all types of property in different ways, sometimes hiding vast sums of money that would otherwise be subject to division in divorce. Some methods people have used to conceal assets in an effort to shield them from their divorce proceedings include:
- Entitling assets to others. It’s a common tactic to transfer ownership of an asset to another party, thereby rendering it immune from division in a divorce. However, this is not a legal or viable tactic, and these paper trails can potentially lead to criminal charges in some situations.
- Phony personal loan claims. Spousal support and child support amounts generally hinge on the paying spouse’s financial status, including their debts. Some have tried to claim they must pay back personal loans, thereby reducing the window of support they must pay.
- Deferring compensation. An employee who earns commission may attempt to have their boss defer a bonus or hold a commission check until after their divorce is finalized. This is done in an attempt to prevent the other spouse from obtaining half of this compensation through the divorce.
- Off-the-book assets. Business owners may have concealed accounts or attempt to distort financial records, including tax records and profit/loss statements. Business assets are often subject to property division in Kansas divorce cases.
Expert witnesses can help uncover these and other methods used to hide assets in a high net worth divorce. Depending on the type of concealment committed, it’s possible for a spouse who attempted to hide assets in a divorce case to face criminal charges in addition to increased scrutiny in family court. It is never worth attempting to hide assets in a high net worth divorce case, no matter how much may seem to be at stake.
Mediating High Net Worth Divorce
In virtually every divorce case, mediation is preferable to litigation for several reasons. First, it saves time and money for both spouses. Mediation only requires as many sessions as it takes to reach mutual terms for divorce. While this will likely take longer and involve more complex mediation sessions in high net worth divorces, it is ultimately preferable to litigation for many more reasons aside from savings on legal fees.
Your Wichita, KS divorce attorney can help you prepare for mediation and identify which aspects of your high net worth divorce are going to require the most intense scrutiny. Thanks to the equitable distribution laws in Kansas, it may be possible to retain ownership over certain assets instead of liquidating them and potentially incurring fees or diminishing their value. Take time to find an experienced high net worth divorce attorney in Wichita, KS who can provide you with a detailed and open explanation of what to expect in your divorce case.