Brooklyn High Asset Divorce
Divorces can be lengthy, complex and emotional, but when you have a high net worth, everything is escalated whether you live in Brooklyn or anywhere else in the country. Valuation of property alone can take months or even years. If you are well to do and are planning to divorce, you should consult with a Brooklyn high asset divorce lawyer as early as possible so your attorney can put a plan in place to protect your assets.
When a divorce involves high-end real estate holdings, businesses, fine art, trusts, stock portfolios, expensive cars, large sums of money and other valuables, you need to find a high asset divorce attorney practicing in the Bronx who is proficient in dealing with both global and financial issues. There are many important, minute details that cannot be overlooked, because the cost is too high if a mistake is made.Marital Property Will Be “Equitably Distributed”
In Brooklyn and all of New York, marital property is subject to equitable distribution when a couple divorces. This does not mean it is split in half. The court will consider each person’s contribution to the marriage and their needs after the divorce to continue their standard of living. If you don’t have a comprehensive, updated prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the court has a wide latitude in determining how to distribute your marital property.
Usually, property acquired during the marriage is considered marital property in New York, no matter what name the title bears. Property you brought into the marriage or inherited is generally separate property that belongs to the individual. However, after years of marriage, lines can become blurred, and it may not always be clear exactly what is marital property and what is separate property even when the parties are acting in good faith. Your Brooklyn high asset divorce lawyer can help to untangle what is marital property and what is separate property and bring in the appropriate financial experts.
When distributing marital property, the court will consider factors listed in New York Domestic Relations Law 236(B)(5)(d). These factors include, among others:
- Length of the marriage
- Which spouse will be the custodial parent and whether it is advisable that the child be able to remain in the marital residence
- Property and income of each party at the time of their marriage and when the divorce was filed.
- Whether spousal maintenance will be ordered and for what amount
- Each spouse’s contribution to the acquisition of property even if title is only in the name of one spouse
- Liquidity of the marital property
- Loss of inheritance and pension rights upon divorce
- Each party’s future prospects
- Difficulty of evaluating an interest in a business and the economic impact of keeping it intact vs. allowing a claim by the other spouse
- Tax consequences
- Anything else the court finds to be “just and proper”
Many couples who get high asset divorces have executed a prenuptial or a postnuptial agreement. This can speed up the divorce process by months, because typically there are designations for property division and spousal maintenance in the agreements. Unfortunately, people often let these documents get out of date, so if they do get a divorce, some property may not be covered. Also, many prenuptial and postnuptial agreements do not cover matters such as child custody, child visitation and child support. It’s always good to have your Brooklyn attorney review prenuptial and postnuptial agreements yearly.
A judge will normally be guided by prenuptial and postnuptial agreements, but they can be challenged in court for various legal reasons such as fraud and coercion. In 2013, a Brooklyn appellate court affirmed the decisions of two Nassau County courts which threw out a prenuptial agreement, because the wife, Elizabeth Petrakis, claimed she was coerced by her real estate developer husband, Peter Petrakis. She said he coerced her to sign by saying he would cancel the wedding if she didn’t sign the prenuptial agreement, knowing that Elizabeth’s father had already spent $40,000 on the reception.Brooklyn High Asset Divorce Lawyer
If you have a high net worth and are considering divorce, it’s critical that you consult with a Brooklyn attorney experienced in high asset divorces as soon as possible. A high asset divorce requires both strategy and detailed analysis, and you will want to contact a good lawyer early. The attorneys at the Law Offices of Stephen Bilkis & Associates have years of experience successfully representing clients in high asset divorces. Contact us at 800.696.9529 to schedule a free, no obligation consultation. We represent clients in the following locations: the Bronx, Brooklyn, Long Island, Manhattan, Nassau County, Queens, Staten Island, Suffolk County and Westchester County.