High Net Worth Divorce

Scottsdale High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer

Our primary goal is to assist you with resolving your family law issue efficiently and affordably while protecting your interests.

Our Scottsdale high net divorce attorneys exercise a no-nonsense style of practice and are upfront and straightforward about the strength of your positions so you can make appropriate and informed decisions about your family law matter.

Why Choose Our High Net Worth Divorce Attorneys In Scottsdale, AZ

High net worth divorces often entail a complex interplay of financial and legal intricacies, sometimes amplifying the inherent challenges of the divorce process. When you and your spouse have accumulated significant assets together, you may have serious concerns about how that property will be handled in a divorce. Ensuring fair division of substantial assets, safeguarding business interests, and navigating complex tax implications are just a few hurdles encountered during such proceedings. In this context, professional legal guidance becomes a prerequisite rather than a choice. 

At BTL Family Law, our Scottsdale divorce lawyers are equipped with an in-depth understanding of Arizona’s family law landscape and the nuances of high-value asset divisions. We’re committed to providing focused representation designed to protect your legal rights and financial interests throughout the divorce process.

An Experienced Attorney Can Help You Navigate Your High Net Worth Divorce

At BTL Family Law, we strive to offer legal representation that aligns with your specific needs and circumstances. Contact us today for a consultation to see how we can help.

What is a High Net Worth Divorce?

A high net worth divorce is a divorce proceeding involving substantial marital assets or high individual incomes. These cases often involve complexities that go beyond the scope of a typical divorce due to the sheer magnitude of assets and often, the labyrinth-like nature of their distribution and ownership.

The assets involved in a high net worth divorce could include real estate properties, business interests, retirement accounts, pensions, investments, inheritance funds, luxury goods like art collections or vintage vehicles, and more. Furthermore, these divorces may also involve the valuation and division of professional practices, partnerships, and corporations.

High net worth couples face unique challenges when going through property division in the divorce process. Thankfully, the Arizona divorce process has some built-in rules to address specific assets that are yours or your spouse’s alone. Having a family law attorney who can help you use these tools effectively is a huge part of ensuring that your divorce is fair to both spouses.

Why is a High Net Worth Divorce Different?

In general, high net worth can mean any couple that has substantial assets. However, many financial experts consider someone “high net worth” if their assets (excluding their home) are worth over $1 million.

Anyone who has assets that total over $5 million is considered “very high net worth,” and someone who has assets over $100,000 but under $1 million is “sub high net worth.”

Because the assets are more substantial in this type of divorce case, these cases are often more complex, as well. That means that your divorce process could be tricky, too. It’s also notable that the implications of a high net worth divorce extend well beyond asset division. 

These cases often involve detailed financial investigations for asset discovery, especially in situations where one party suspects that the other is hiding assets. Tax ramifications linked to division of significant assets and alimony payments are other considerations to bear in mind.

Having an attorney who has experience with high net worth divorce is vital to ensure that he or she has the knowledge you need to address issues that simply do not come up in the average divorce.

Separating Property in a Scottsdale, AZ Divorce

Arizona is a community property state. That means, for the most part, that if the couple acquired the property during their marriage, then it is considered community property or marital property—owned equally by both spouses.

If the property was acquired before the marriage, it is generally separate property. Separate property can also include:

Defining separate property or funds that were the result of separate property is even more important in a high asset divorce.

There is an assumption that all property acquired during the marriage is marital property unless you can prove otherwise.

Having a forensic accountant help you trace funds from the separate property could end up saving you thousands of dollars in some cases because it will allow that asset to be excluded from Arizona’s community property treatment.

Unique Assets in High Income Divorce

An average divorce usually involves division of shared assets, such as a house, vehicles, bank accounts, and possibly a retirement account, along with some shared liabilities or debts. However, a high net worth divorce typically involves assets that are more complex and substantial. The intricacies in these cases revolve around more than just identifying and dividing these assets — they often require meticulous valuation to ensure equitable distribution.

High net worth divorces involve an array of complicated assets such as:

  • Business holdings or assets
  • Real estate holdings
  • Investment or securities portfolios
  • Valuable artwork or other collections
  • High-end vehicles
  • Multiple homes or vacation properties
  • Expensive jewelry
  • Complex retirement accounts
  • Trust interests
  • Recreational vehicles
  • Stock options

Valuing these assets can require that your attorney hire appraisers or other experts to estimate what the property would be worth if it were sold.

Unfortunately, due to the high stakes involved, there may also be a greater likelihood in these cases for spouses to hide assets. This is where the role of a vigilant divorce lawyer or law firm becomes indispensable. They’ll be instrumental in identifying and uncovering all assets, no matter how sophisticated or concealed.

Having a  team of dedicated attorneys on the lookout for any and all assets, even if they are more complex, is vital in high net worth divorces in Scottsdale, Arizona. We are committed to ensuring all your assets are accounted for and valued accurately, thereby advocating for your financial interests effectively throughout the divorce process.

Dividing Some of the Most Common High-Value Assets

High worth individuals use a lot of the same types of assets to protect their wealth or as investment vehicles. High net worth divorces often include complex assets like business interests, overseas investments, multiple real properties, and retirement accounts. Identifying and accurately valuing these assets, which is crucial for fair division, can be challenging and complicated. 

Below are a few of the most common types of assets and an overview of how those may be divided in a divorce.

Business Interests

Many high net worth couples have an ownership stake in one or more businesses. That stake can be alone or as part of a partnership or corporation.

Business interests must be divided just like other assets. The first step is to value the company as a whole.

Then, the couple can decide whether it makes sense to remove one spouse so that the other can continue the ownership interest or sell the stake and split the proceeds.

Although continuing the business together is an option, many couples choose not to do that because it can be very difficult to run a business with an ex-spouse.

Trusts

High net worth individuals will often use trusts to protect assets. However, if any of the funds that were placed in the trust were earned during the marriage, then the trust could be a marital asset as well.

Nonetheless, locating the trust and examining how funds got into the trust can be a challenge.

Real Estate Holdings

Real estate, apart from the marital home, can be a good way to invest funds for high net worth individuals. That means that property may need to be sold or exchanged to ensure an equitable division of property.

Addressing multiple properties, especially when they are located outside of Arizona, can be a significant challenge.

Tax Implications

In a high net worth divorce, tax considerations can be some of the most significant financial implications you’ll face. Both the division of substantial assets and the agreement on alimony payments can lead to hefty tax obligations if not handled strategically. Our family law attorneys work tactfully with financial experts and accountants to ensure financial decisions made during the divorce proceedings minimize adverse tax consequences and align with your financial interests.

Addressing Child and Spousal Support

Child support, in part, is determined by the respective income of both parents and the parenting time arrangement.

The parent that earns more will often have to pay child support to the other parent to ensure that the child has access to relatively equal resources.

However, in high net worth cases, your divorce attorney may need to ask the court to alter the normal child support calculation to serve the best interests of the child.

Spousal support or alimony is also somewhat common in high net worth divorces. In many circumstances, one spouse may earn significantly more than the other or have assets that provide financial stability that is theirs alone.

Spousal maintenance is often used to help the lower-earning spouse obtain stability after the divorce and is determined upon the court’s review of the relevant factors.

Our BTL child custody attorneys can help you figure out a situation that works for all parties involved.

The Role of a Scottsdale High Net Divorce Lawyer

In a high net worth divorce, a lawyer plays numerous key roles:

  • Asset Identification and Valuation: Your lawyer works closely with financial experts to identify all assets and accurately value them.
  • Negotiations and Mediations: High net worth divorces often require complicated negotiations or mediations to reach fair settlements. Your lawyer will represent your best interests during these discussions.
  • Court Representation: If your divorce case goes to court, your advocate will represent you, ensuring that your rights and interests are protected.
  • Financial Investigation: If there is a suspicion of hidden assets, your divorce lawyer may coordinate a financial investigation to uncover these assets.
  • Legal Counseling: Throughout the process, your lawyer will proactively counsel you about your rights, potential outcomes, and offer guidance on the decisions you’ll have to make.

Handling a high net worth divorce without legal counsel can be daunting. At BTL Family Law, our Scottsdale high net divorce lawyers carry the knowledge and experience necessary for guiding you through these complex proceedings.

 

Justin Tash, Divorce Lawyer

Getting Help with a High Net Worth Divorce in Arizona

Those who have unique assets have unique legal needs. They need a law firm with experience dealing with more complex assets and higher-stakes situations. Burggraff Tash Levy can help. Contact our Scottsdale family law attorneys today to set up an initial consultation.


BTL Family Law – Scottsdale Office

8980 E Raintree Dr #110
Scottsdale, AZ 85260
P: (480) 307-6800

"I'm truly grateful for finding Randi and choosing BTL to represent me through my years of litigation in family court. I couldn't imagine going through all that without her compassion, dedication, and tenacity to ensure I always had the strongest possible case."
- C.P.
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