Due to the complex assets owned by the parties and the difficulty in gathering the essential financial documents, high-net-worth divorces in Virginia are more expensive and problematic than regular divorces. While the same Virginia statutes govern high net worth divorces as ordinary divorces (Code of Virginia 20-91), it is still vital to know some of the typical problems that affect high net worth divorces.
While couples with a high net worth will still be able to file for divorce using the same fault-based or no-fault procedures as couples with lower incomes, there are a few factors to bear in mind when it comes to a high net worth divorce in Virginia.
1. The Importance of Financial Documentation
You should start acquiring originals or copies of financial documents as soon as possible. Financials can be of the highest importance in high-net-worth divorces, especially regarding the equitable distribution of marital assets and property. All assets and obligations must be designated as marital or separate property under Virginia law, and all marital property must be distributed in a manner determined by the court to be equitable to both spouses. You cannot get a fair share if you can’t verify that a specific item exists or that it should be designated as marital property.
2. You’ll Possibly Need to Hire an Appraiser
Many high-net-worth divorces entail substantial property that needs specialized assessments. For example, if you own high-value art of any kind, you should employ an appraiser who specializes in that form of art and can provide a current fair market value appraisal. Even if you had an assessment done a few years ago, the market can change dramatically, making it critical to have an accurate evaluation.
3. Forensic Accountants Can resolve concealed Asset Issues
A forensic accountant will likely be a crucial element of your divorce team if there are any issues about one party trying to hide or conceal assets in a high-net-worth divorce or if one of the spouses does not have access to financial documents. A forensic accountant can dig down and uncover accounts and investments that a spouse did not declare, ensuring that all property is identified, appropriately categorized, and dispersed equally.
4. You Should Expect a Difficult Property Division Case
Most high-asset divorces include complicated property, and valuing and classifying real estate, businesses, investments, and other assets, can take some time to work through.
5. Your Lawyer Should be Familiar with High Asset Divorce Cases
Although a family member or friend may have numerous recommendations for the lawyers with whom you work with on your case, you should be aware that hiring a Virginia divorce attorney with extensive expertise managing high-net-worth divorces is critical. These types of divorces are unique, and there are concerns that arise in high-asset divorces that do not frequently occur in other forms of divorce. You want an advocate on your side who is familiar with the issues in your case and can assist you in achieving your desired outcome.
Contact Holcomb Law, P.C. Today
Having an experienced high-net-worth divorce attorney on your side is critical when you’re going through a high-net-worth divorce in Virginia. Our firm’s devoted lawyers can meet with you now to discuss your situation and begin working on your divorce case. It is our job to fight for you every step of the way.
Call or text us at (757) 656-1000 to schedule your consultation.