Indiana High Asset Divorce Attorney
Your Indiana High Asset Divorce Attorney Is at Keffer Hirschauer LLP
A high net worth divorce is one that includes substantial assets, often comprised of complex or unusual holdings. This translates to having a lot to lose in the event of a divorce, where the benefit of wealth can become a significant complication. The division of assets not only lowers your net worth but can also lower the value of the asset itself. Asset protection in divorce starts well before you file and requires guidance from an experienced high asset divorce attorney.
The Indiana high asset divorce attorneys at Keffer Hirschauer LLP understand the complexities of high asset divorce and the strategies necessary for asset protection in divorce cases of this kind. With unrivaled litigation skills and experience, our family law attorneys, based in Indianapolis, can help protect your hard-earned wealth.
Divorce is the unwinding of a personal partnership, which necessarily involves the division of assets and debt. Asset preservation is key in almost every divorce but especially so in a high net worth divorce. The goal is the identification of assets to be included in the marital pot subject to division and the creative distribution of assets to preserve the maximum value possible.
As a result, a high net worth divorce is more complex and often takes longer to conclude than other divorces. Because time is money, you need a divorce attorney who understands Indiana divorce law and the complexities that accompany your divorce.
Whether your assets are the result of a lifetime of hard work, an inheritance, or a windfall, preserving your wealth is a key component of our divorce strategy at Keffer Hirschauer LLP. Every high asset divorce attorney at our Indianapolis, Indiana-based firm balances aggressive litigation techniques with innovative options to help protect your wealth.
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What Is a High Asset Divorce?
A high asset divorce is more than a divorce involving a high net worth. The assets involved are generally more complex and sometimes singular in nature. In addition to financial accounts and real estate, a high asset divorce may also involve:
- Business interests
- Intellectual property rights
- Stock options
- Venture capital investments
- Precious metals
These assets or the funds to invest in them can come from a variety of sources:
- Employment income
- Other investments
Regardless of the source of your wealth, your high asset divorce attorney at Keffer Hirschauer LLP will pursue all avenues to protect your assets.
Unexpected Ways a High Asset Divorce is Different
When either partner in a marriage owns significant assets, a divorce can have aspects unique to high asset cases. The obvious difference would be the identification and valuation of significant and sometimes uncommon assets, such as artwork or intellectual property rights. Valuation of these assets requires working with specialized forensic accountants or other experts who are knowledgeable about the type of asset and its valuation. Use of these specialists necessarily increases the cost of the divorce.
Tax consequences from the division or transfer of assets incidental to a divorce can also complicate a high net worth divorce. If the property division requires selling one or more assets, those sales could be taxable, sometimes at a high tax rate. You need counsel cognizant of such matters who can help devise possible property division alternatives to avoid excessive federal and Indiana taxes.
When there are minor children of the marriage, child support may also be calculated differently in high asset divorces. When the parties’ income exceeds the Guideline Schedule for Weekly Support Payments in the Indiana Child Support Rules and Guidelines, the Guideline Schedule provides a formula for computing child support for high-income earners.
Even for combined income levels included in the Guideline Schedule, the recommended child support amount for high-income earners may not allow a lower income earning custodial parent to provide the same level of lifestyle for the child as during the marriage. Parties wishing to maintain a child’s standard of living post-divorce may choose creative means to supplement child support, such as through setting over the assets for the custodial parent in the property division.
At Keffer Hirschauer LLP, we understand the difficulty of accurately valuing certain assets, managing the tax consequences of the property division, and making sure child support is used for the children and not to supplement the other parent’s income. We work with experts in a variety of areas who can provide reliable valuation of non-mainstream assets and assist with tax management. Your Keffer Hirschauer LLP high asset divorce attorney works with these professionals to help Indiana high net worth clients develop innovative solutions for your divorce.
Defining the Marital Pot That is Subject to Division
In Indiana, all assets owned by either spouse, individually or together, are initially considered part of the “marital pot” subject to division in the divorce. Under Indiana Code § 31-15-7-4, this includes the following types of property:
- Owned by either spouse before the marriage
- Acquired by either spouse during the marriage
- Acquired by the spouses jointly during the marriage
Under Indiana Code § 31-15-7-5, the court presumes that an equal division of the marital pot is equitable. However, the court may approve allocating an asset to one spouse without an allocation of equal value to the other spouse after considering factors such as these:
- Each spouse’s contribution to the marriage via income and non-income-producing efforts
- The extent to which a spouse acquired the asset before the marriage or through inheritance or gift
- Each spouse’s economic circumstances upon completion of a proposed division of assets and debts, including consideration for awarding the marital residence to the spouse who will have physical custody of the parties’ child or children
- Conduct by either spouse during the marriage that dissipated or disposed of marital assets
- Each spouse’s earning capacity given the proposed final distribution of marital assets and determination of property rights in the divorce
An experienced high asset divorce attorney from Keffer Hirschauer LLP will thoroughly investigate the source of your assets to develop arguments to maintain the integrity of your wealth.
Personalized Strategies for Your Indiana High Net Worth Divorce
The goal of any divorce involves the termination of legal ties and creation of two personal estates from a single one in the eyes of the law. But, when the original estate includes extensive or unique property, dividing the assets can be complicated. Allowing the court to decide what to include in the marital pot and how to divide it is risky and usually best avoided. The question becomes how to divide the marital estate while maintaining the value of your property and affluence.
Developing strategies for a positive outcome in a high asset divorce first requires a firm grasp of the nature of the assets involved. A reputable high asset divorce attorney need not know the intricacies of each type of asset, but he or she should be capable of learning about the asset and have access to quality experts to educate the attorney as well as the court. To understand the nature of an asset for the purpose of generating property division proposals, consider aspects of each asset such as:
- Is it a going concern that relies on one spouse’s involvement for productivity or goodwill?
- Is the value of the asset subject to changes in valuation based on external forces such as the economy or a particular industry or market?
- Could dividing or transferring interest in the asset affect its value and to what extent?
- Would transferring or dividing an interest in the asset have negative consequences?
For example, a business that was built on one person’s reputation, abilities, or direct operational involvement may not have the same value, whole or divided, if any part of it is transferred a spouse in a divorce. Similarly, certain assets, such as fine art ensembles, may be more valuable as a whole than based on the individual value of each constituent part.
When your marital estate includes significant assets, especially those that may be unusual or suffer a decrease in value based on the treatment in the divorce, you need skilled legal counsel to devise litigation strategies that will maintain your interests and the value and potential of your assets. When settlement of the entire case is not possible, your attorney may propose entering into a partial settlement covering areas of agreement and then dealing with the remaining assets later through a separate settlement agreement or trial.
Regardless of the particular path, your divorce attorney should work with you to develop strategies for asset protection in divorce with the goals of retaining your interest in properties meaningful to you, dependent on your involvement, or that could be negatively affected by transfer or division.
You’re best served by experienced Indiana family law attorneys allied with well-respected, knowledgeable valuation experts in areas related to each asset who can not only provide an accurate assessment of each asset’s value but also advise you and the court on how dividing an asset can have a negative effect on its value.
Your High Asset Divorce Attorney Is at Keffer Hirschauer LLP
Your divorce should not undermine all you’ve worked to accomplish financially and professionally, but, without guidance from an experienced and capable high asset divorce attorney, it could.
Don’t take the risk. An Indiana high net worth divorce lawyer from Keffer Hirschauer LLP will identify marital assets subject to division, argue for the exclusion of certain assets from the marital pot, coordinate with esteemed professionals to provide expert opinions on valuation and the effect of a transfer of ownership on your assets, and develop creative alternatives for property division to ensure asset protection in divorce.