Although high net-worth divorces involve the same basic issues as other divorces, the outcomes and options are generally very different. When there is a lot of money at stake, the standard negotiating methods and compromises often just don’t make sense. The same is true when we discuss the topics of child support and custody.
How These Issues Are Settled
If you’re facing serious pushback when it comes to child custody and support, don’t panic. This is very common, especially in situations where there’s a lot of money at stake and both parents have strong ideas about what’s best for the children in question. You may be surprised how much compromise can happen when both sides have spoken to their lawyers, learned about what’s at stake, and had some time to cool off. These issues are generally resolved in one of three ways.
First, both spouses are of the same general mindset when it comes to what’s best for their children in their divorce. They may have some minor disagreements, but they sort them out without fanfare. The agreement they decide on is approved by the court.
Second, the parties may butt heads about child custody schedules and child support amounts. While they are initially unwilling to come to an agreement, they eventually compromise in key areas with the help of their attorneys and perhaps a mediator. While neither side ultimately gets everything they want, both sides are content with the agreement by the end. The court approves of this agreement, and it becomes part of the court order.
Finally, the parties may really dig their heels in and refuse to compromise. When this happens, the issue goes in front of the judge. The judge looks at both sides’ arguments and evidence before making a final ruling regarding child support and child custody.
For those navigating a high net-worth divorce, the last option is obviously the least desirable. There may be millions of dollars at stake—do you really want to leave these big decisions up to a judge? While negotiating may mean you don’t get everything you want, it does mean that you maintain control over the process and advocate for your child along the way.
Child Support Guidelines
When looking at child support, it’s common to refer to the . However, this chart only goes up to a gross monthly income of $30,000. Many, many high net worth divorces involve far more monthly income, especially when you consider that many of these couples have income from rental properties, executive bonuses, stocks, and other non-traditional sources of income.
In high-net-worth divorces, child support must be either negotiated by the parents or left to the mercy of the court. It’s obvious that parents have a better idea of their children’s needs, extracurricular expenses, private school expenses, and other costs.
Child Custody Considerations
In high net worth divorces, there are often unique child custody situations. In many of these splits, one partner is the high earner while the other keeps things running on the home front. This leaves the divorcing couple in a quandary—should the primary caregiver remain the primary caregiver, or should time be split more evenly? Is an even time split even an option if the high earner works 80 hours per week, travels for work, or otherwise has an unreliable schedule?
While both parties may jump to conclusions about what they want, it’s important to think about the logistics of their schedules and needs in order to find a solution that accommodates their child’s continued growth and happiness.
Ready to Discuss Your Legal Needs in Greater Detail? Contact Kirk Drennan Law
We know how touchy the topics of child support and custody can be, and we’re here to advocate for you and your little one. Let’s sit down, talk about your situation, and discuss your options. Just call us at 205-803-3500 or to schedule a consultation.