High Asset and High Income Divorce

High Assets

High Asset and High Income Divorce

What is considered a high net-worth divorce case in Colorado?

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well I mean it really depends so high

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net worth divorces are going to be

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looking at you know potentially in

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excess of 10 million dollars but there’s

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a difference between a high net worth

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divorce and a complex divorce so you

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might have a uh 20 million dollar

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divorce but uh there’s no business

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there’s only inherited wealth and

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there’s a premarital agreement that

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governs everything and nobody’s

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objecting to it so in that case it may

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be a very very simple divorce despite

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the fact that there may be a lot of

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money at issue you might also have a

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five million dollar divorce that is

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maybe not you know a high asset divorce

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but where you have uh income of eight

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hundred thousand dollars a year and you

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have a closely held business and you’re

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going to have to sort of figure out what

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the value of the business is uh

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considering you know the income and

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where that business is going to go it

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becomes more complex if there are no

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other assets

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um we we don’t want to have divorce be a

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complete dismantling of the marital

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estate we really want to end up with an

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equitable solution where businesses can

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continue to operate and people get their

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Fair settlement so when we talk about

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high asset versus complexity you know

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it’s it’s mix and match you can have a

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little bit of both I would say a lot of

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the cases in Colorado uh that we do you

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know are somewhere between 20 million

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and 70 million we’ve had much higher

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cases uh in the in the high asset

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divorce cases but we’ve also had you

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know much lower cases with lower dollar

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value cases with more complex issues

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that we’ve had to parse through

What are the biggest challenges you face in Colorado high net-worth divorce cases?

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often the biggest challenge is really

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document production if you’re going

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through a divorce and it’s going to be

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litigated and there’s you know many many

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thousands of pages of documentation that

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we’re required to exchange keeping track

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of that and making sure that we

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understand all of that is so important I

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have a lot of experience in real estate

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cases where we’ll have multiple

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properties and there’s a lot of

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information that needs to be disclosed

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to experts so that they can Value Rental

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Properties and rent rolls and you don’t

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want to end up at the end of that case

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without having the ability to prove uh

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what documents you’ve disclosed

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especially where there’s going to be a

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disconnect or dueling experts who are

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going to disagree about those values in

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Colorado if

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there is a claim of material

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non-disclosure that is one party didn’t

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provide documentation that’s material to

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the outcome of the case the parties can

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reopen their divorce for up to five

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years after the decree is entered and

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nobody wants to get divorced twice

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so really ensuring that everybody has

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the information they need to make

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informed decisions in a settlement or to

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ensure that the court has the

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information it needs its key to running

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a complex or high asset case

From Kristi’s interview for the Masters of Family Law series on ReelLawyers.com.

The team at Wells Family law has substantial experience dealing with large marital estates and high-earning spouses.  The high asset or high income divorce may present complex issues. For example, executives may have vested and unvested stock options, bonus income, restricted stock, or nonqualified deferred compensation awards to take into consideration in addition to normal retirement and pension assets.  Premarital agreements, trust interests, closely-held business interests, real estate interests, complicated estate plans, and separate property interests may also come into play.  Complex tax issues such as allocating tax loss carry-forwards, the tax consequences of distributing assets out of a closely-held business, or allocating low-basis, high-value property can also arise.  It is imperative that you have counsel who is able to identify and address issues such as these to ensure that your property is divided in a manner that makes sense for you. In high-asset, high-income divorces, there exists a very real possibility that the issues raised will be outside the experience of the court.  Where necessary, we may advise our clients to engage consultants or experts to provide opinions where the court may need additional guidance in understanding complex issues.