High Asset Divorce Attorneys in Birmingham
Divorce is never easy. But when there’s a lot of money and assets involved, it is even more difficult. The more there is to lose, the harder both sides fight to get what they deserve. If you’re a party in a high asset divorce, you likely know how much is at stake for you right now.
High asset divorces require a level of finesse and careful handling. In these situations, there are often family businesses, multiple pieces of real estate, large inheritances, trusts, and other assets that have to be considered. Without the assistance of an attorney, there is a good chance that you will end up with less than you deserve.
You’ve worked hard to get to where you are in life. Don’t lose it all during a divorce. Set up a time with Kirk Drennan Law to discuss your divorce needs by calling us at 205-803-3500.
One of the first topics to come up in almost every high asset divorce case is spousal support. The high earner in the relationship wants to ensure that they don’t spend the rest of their life paying a low-earning ex-partner, and the low earner of the relationship doesn’t want to be left without enough to meet their basic needs.
In this type of divorce, spousal support is likely to be awarded. However, one thing you should know is that permanent alimony, more commonly known as periodic alimony, is not often awarded in Alabama. It is more common for alimony to have a set end date or event, usually cohabitation with another partner or remarriage on the part of the low earner.
Spousal support can also cover expenses that aren’t always immediately obvious. For example, if the lower-earning spouse currently gets health benefits through their partner, spousal support may give them enough to buy their own health insurance via the marketplace.
A number of factors go into determining spousal support amounts and timeframes, including:
- Current Income level of each party
- Earning capacity
- The health of each party
- Sacrifices made to benefit the marriage or marital home
- The length of the marriage
Whether you believe you should receive alimony for your sacrifices to your ex-partner’s career or you want to ensure that all of your spare money doesn’t go to your ex-partner, it is essential to discuss these options and concerns with an attorney.
Child Custody and Support
No matter what type of divorce it is, questions of child custody and child support are among the most difficult to work out. Both parties want what is best for their children, but they often disagree on what that actually means. As is the case in any divorce, the judge’s priority in a high asset divorce is the well-being of the child or children in question.
Child support in Alabama is typically based off the income shares model, which looks at how much each individual contributes financially to the marriage, and other fixed costs such as health insurance and daycare. Under certain circumstances you may deviate from this model. Additionally, this model is not applicable once you reach a household income of $240,000 or more per year. At this point, the court makes decisions based on the specific needs and lifestyle of the child.
In a high asset divorce, child support can be far more complicated to calculate. Expenses like private school tuition, trips abroad, expensive extracurricular activities and tutors, and future financial security must all be considered when calculating child support.
The Division of Property and Debts
Property and debt division can be messy in any divorce, but there is much more at stake in a high asset divorce. Assets vary widely in value, liquidity, location, and other factors. Under Alabama law, equitable distribution is the standard in a divorce. Assets are not split 50/50. They are split in a way that is fair, based on each party’s circumstances and the marriage as a whole.
Your marital property may include rental property income, bank accounts and cash on hand, retirement accounts, inheritances, royalties, retirement accounts, business shares, intellectual property, and even international assets.
Rather than divvying up each asset between the parties, which is expensive and can leave both parties with partial assets they can’t use, both sides use compromise and leverage to get the assets they want. For example, if the lower-earning spouse wants more alimony than the higher-earning spouse is willing to pay, the higher-earning spouse might give them a rental property to make up for the difference. In exchange, they keep the family business without having to give a share to the ex-partner.
One issue that comes up in some high asset divorces is the hiding or disposal of assets. Legally, both parties must disclose all debts and assets during the divorce process. It is more difficult to prove that both parties have done this when there are countless assets spread across numerous accounts and entities. This is one reason it’s important to work with an attorney who has extensive experience in high asset divorces . If necessary, they can retain the assistance of a forensic accountant to ensure that all assets are accounted for and disclosed.
If there is debt to be divided in a divorce, other factors often come into play. The court may look at how much money each party has every month to cover debt payments. If one party receives the lion’s share of assets, they may also be required to take on the majority of the debt. Again, this is something that can be used to negotiate an agreement that better meets your needs.
Protect Your Assets and Your Privacy
Not only can high asset divorces be time-consuming because of the amount of assets to be divided they can also be very high profile. For example, if one party in the divorce is a well known entertainer, business professional, or other public figure, details of the divorce are in high demand. A skilled high asset divorce attorney can work toward a settlement that protects both parties’ privacy and future financial well-being.
In a high asset divorce, going without an attorney should not be an option that is even on the table. An attorney is recommended for every divorce, but it should be non-negotiable when you have significant assets at stake. We are here to help. We know that divorce is a difficult time and that you want the best start possible for this next chapter of your life. Our goal, at all times, is to protect your best interests while keeping your private matters out of the public eye.
Get the Help You Deserve in a Complex Divorce Case
Wherever you are in the divorce process, we are here to guide you through this challenging and stressful time. Our extensive experience in high asset divorce cases allows us to handle your case professionally, quickly, and discreetly. To set up a consultation and further discuss your needs, call Kirk Drennan Law at 205-803-3500 or get in touch with us