What Experts Are Needed in a High-Asset Divorce?

Written by Jonathan Breeden

October 8, 2023

Money and other financial assets can significantly benefit your marriage and allow you to maintain a comfortable lifestyle. However, without the right help, a divorce involving multiple high-value assets can feel overwhelming and stressful. You may require financial experts to ensure a smooth divorce process.

Here’s more on the role of high-asset divorce experts and the common ones you might work with.

Why Do High Asset Divorces Need Professional Help?

Outside of child custody, property division is one of the most complicated and hotly debated issues to resolve in divorce proceedings. Even divorces with minimal assets can be challenging to navigate, but divorces involving robust financial portfolios, multiple homes, stock options, and other high value assets require professional help. Several different financial experts might be recruited to accurately evaluate assets, clarify tax repercussions, and uncover potential hidden funds.

Common Experts in High-Asset Divorces

Depending on your case, your attorney might recruit the help of various types of experts, including the following:

Business Valuation Experts

If you own a business, this is considered marital property, and your spouse may be entitled to a piece of it in the divorce. Even if you started the business before marriage, your spouse is still entitled to the portion that increased during marriage.

For example, if your business’s valuation was $1.5 million before the marriage and is now worth $2 million, the difference between these two valuations is considered marital property. A business valuation expert ensures that your business is accurately evaluated before divorce proceedings. Due to the fact that businesses can increase or decrease in value quickly, these valuations must be done as close to the divorce as possible.

Vocational Experts

How much you pay in alimony or child support ultimately depends on your income and other factors. Your ex might try to lower their support payments by working fewer hours, taking jobs for less pay, or quitting their job entirely. However, a vocational expert understands these tactics and identifies an individual’s true earning potential.

Judges might recruit a vocational expert from the Occupational Assessment Services to survey your spouse’s education, experience, skills, and knowledge to determine earning potential. This helps the judge determine an appropriate amount for support payments based on your spouse’s potential rather than the intentional pay cut they took.

Forensic Accountants

High-asset divorces are not as cut-and-dry as ones involving common assets like cars, a house, and furniture. High-value divorces include significant, complex assets, such as robust financial portfolios, stock options, properties in several states, pension plans, rare art pieces—the list goes on.

That is without mentioning digital assets like cryptocurrencies, which are often hidden in divorce cases. Forensic accountants can sift through all these assets and investigate your case to ensure everyone is truthful about their financial situation. They can prove whether your spouse transferred assets to fake corporations, overpaid creditors, or underreported income.

Real Estate Appraisers 

Couples with multiple homes in different states face another hurdle to tackle during their divorce. If you and your ex decide to sell the houses and split the proceeds, you must recruit the help of a real estate appraiser.

Once a real estate appraiser accurately calculates your home’s value, you can deduct what you owe and determine your expected proceeds. Many factors determine a home’s appraisal value, such as your home’s square footage, neighborhood, amenities, and more.

Financial Advisors

Taxes are generally complicated, especially for those going through a divorce involving various high-value assets. Assets aside, you will have new financial obligations, such as child support and alimony payments, which are non-deductible according to the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act.

Other tax repercussions vary depending on the assets you acquire in a divorce. For example, if you sell your home and split the proceeds, any money you make will be taxed. Financial advisors help you understand the tax implications involved in high-asset property division and could guide you on the best course of action to take.

Get Help from a Divorce Lawyer Today

You may be unaware of how involved the high-asset divorce process can be and feel unprepared for the future. However, divorce attorney Jonathan Breeden has handled countless high-asset divorce cases and knows which experts to recruit based on your specific needs. We’ll take inventory of your assets and properly evaluate them to ensure they are divided fairly between both parties.

Contact our office today at (919) 661-4970 today so we can begin working on your case.


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