A high-asset divorce occurs when one or both spouses have significant assets from during their marriage. In addition to the challenges that any divorce faces, including financial strain, emotional turmoil, and the potential for contentious relationships, high-asset and high-value divorces have additional complications. It’s incredibly beneficial to work with a high-net-worth divorce attorney in Wichita who can help the process go smoothly.
The process of valuing and fairly separating complex and numerous assets in divorce is very complicated and frequently requires financial professionals. There are also unique issues to consider in child support and spousal support determinations. If legal support and special care are not provided for high-asset divorces, they could take years to resolve.
Challenges to Consider in High-Asset Divorces in Wichita
There are several issues to plan for in high-asset divorces that are not present in other divorces. It can be helpful to consider potential mistakes and challenges, including:
A spouse hiding assets during divorce is more common in high-net-worth divorces. A spouse may attempt to hide marital assets, so they receive more property or because they want to prevent their spouse from obtaining that asset. A spouse may also hide separate assets to claim they have fewer resources and, therefore, deserve more marital assets.
Some spouses believe that because their divorce is amicable, their spouse will not hide assets. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. Even if spouses are not purposefully hiding assets, it is important to conduct a complete investigation and valuation of assets in high-value divorces. Missing assets can significantly change the outcome of property division in divorce.
If a spouse is purposefully hiding assets by transferring assets to third parties, new accounts, or otherwise failing to disclose an asset, this is fraud, and it is illegal. Hidden assets are often discovered during the divorce discovery process.
When the court discovers that a spouse intentionally attempted to hide assets, this will impact the rest of the divorce. The court may give the other spouse the assets that were hidden or award a larger portion of assets. The spouse who engages in hiding assets may face criminal penalties.
Publicity and Media Attention
Often, a high-asset divorce can bring in additional eyes, including media attention. Many couples do not want this during an emotionally tumultuous and difficult time in their life. If the couple has children, it can make things harder for the entire family. These divorces may need to take specific steps to avoid media attention and try to settle the divorce through a separation agreement rather than dealing with litigation.
It has recently become more common for couples of any income level to create marital agreements, including prenuptial and postnuptial agreements. However, marital agreements are still more common in high-value marriages, especially when one spouse enters the marriage with significantly more assets than the other.
A prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can make the divorce process easier and means parties do not have to follow the court’s equitable distribution rules for asset division. However, if the marital agreement is determined to be invalid or unfair to one spouse, it can complicate the process.
Spousal support is assigned based on need and ability to pay. Kansas local laws differ in determining spousal support. The high income of one or both spouses can make calculating support more difficult or mean a formula no longer applies, and it is up to the judge’s choice.
Q: How Are Assets Split in a Divorce in Kansas?
A: Kansas is an equitable distribution state for assets and debts in divorce. When a couple goes through litigation for their divorce, the court divides the property they gained from the date of their marriage, with some exceptions.
The court will evaluate certain factors about the parties and their marriage and use this information to determine a fair and equitable division of property. This division may not necessarily be equal, although it can be. Kansas courts may consider factors such as the age and wellness of each party, as well as the income and resources of each party.
Q: Is Kansas a No-Fault Divorce State?
A: In Kansas, you can file on no-fault grounds of incompatibility. You are not required to file on fault-based grounds to get a divorce; however, there are situations where you can file for fault-based divorce. A no-fault divorce is often less expensive, allows for an uncontested divorce, and is less stressful.
Filing for fault-based divorce can enable spouses to skip the mandatory waiting period in the divorce process. For spouses who need to separate quickly for their own well-being or other reasons, the increased cost can be worth it
Q: Does Adultery Affect Divorce in Kansas?
A: Adultery can affect some parts of a divorce, but it is not typically considered grounds for divorce. Fault-based grounds for divorce include incapability due to incapacity and failure to perform a marital duty, which includes actions like physical and mental cruelty. Adultery may be considered a failure to perform a marital duty, but it is not stated in the statute.
Adultery also has the potential to impact property division. If one spouse cheated and spent marital assets on their other partner, the court may consider this dissipation of assets. Then, the other spouse would be awarded a higher portion of marital assets.
Q: How Long Does a Divorce Take in Kansas?
A: This depends on several factors, including whether a couple is obtaining a contested or uncontested divorce. In Kansas, after filing a divorce petition, there is a mandatory waiting period of 60 days before the divorce can be finalized. This waiting period could be waived under certain fault-based grounds.
Once the 60 days are complete, the judge will sign the decree. However, spouses must also have their separation agreement ready and approved by the judge for the divorce to be finalized. More complex assets, like in a high-asset divorce, may make the process take longer. In a contested divorce, the process can take much longer, and excess conflict between spouses will further lengthen it. A contested divorce may take months to years.
Managing the Complexities of a Divorce with an Attorney
A high-asset divorce can result in both spouses worrying about their financial security, which can make the process more contentious. Contact an experienced attorney at Stange Law Firm to help smooth the process and to protect your own rights and financial interests.