Huntington, WV High Asset Divorce Lawyers
Huntington has one of the highest divorce rates in West Virginia. Data shows that 11% of its residents have been divorced at least once. While West Virginia’s overall divorce rate has slightly reduced in recent years, it is still higher than the national average.
Divorce can be distressing under any circumstances. When high-value assets are involved, the process can become even more stressful and complicated because the stakes are too high.
At Pence Law Firm PLLC, we have more than 100 years of combined experience in handling divorce and other family law-related cases. Over the years, we have handled several high-asset divorce cases and have a track record of success that few other law firms can boast of.
Why High Asset Divorces are More Complicated than Usual
There are many reasons why high net-worth divorces in Huntington, WV tend to be more complex than traditional divorces. These include:
Identifying Hidden Assets
When assets worth millions are at stake, spouses might be tempted to hide their assets from each other – just so they can protect them from getting divided and distributed equitably. From parking money in offshore accounts to holding assets under someone else’s name, people tend to use a wide range of tactics to keep their assets hidden.
Not only is it unfair, but it is also against the law. Tracing and identifying these assets can be a difficult and time-consuming task, which can complicate the divorce process even more. We work with a network of private investigators and forensic accountants who are experts at tracing hidden assets.
If you suspect that your spouse might be hiding their assets, we can track them down, hold your spouse accountable for their unlawful actions, and make sure you get your fair share of the assets.
Accurately Valuing the Assets
High net worth individuals typically own extensive financial assets and investments – ranging from real estate holdings to ownership interests in businesses, inheritances, stock options, trademarks and royalties, qualified and non-qualified investment portfolios, intellectual property rights, vintage cars, expensive vehicles and boats, jewelry, trusts, artwork, antiques, collectibles, and digital assets.
Calculating the value of these assets can be a highly complicated task that requires the expertise of professional appraisers, CPAs, tax consultants, financial planners, and other experts. We work with a network of specialists to help ensure that your financial goals with regard to property division, spousal support, child support, and debt division are met in the best possible way.
The Distinction between Separate Property and Marital Property
Generally, what you acquire or inherit prior to your marriage is considered separate property, which is not meant to be divided in the event of divorce. But there are certain circumstances under which a separate property can become marital property in a Huntington, WV divorce.
For example, if you started your business before you got married, it can be considered separate property. But if your spouse contributed in any way (monetarily or otherwise) to your business during the course of your marriage, it might be considered at least partially marital property.
Similarly, inheritances are generally considered separate property. But if you mix it with marital property, it can become commingled and might be considered marital property as a result.
For example, if you inherit a sum of money from your parents or relatives and put the money into an account that you jointly hold with your spouse, it can become commingled, as a result of which a portion of your inheritance or all of it – depending on the circumstances – might be considered marital property.
These issues can lead to heated disputes between the spouses, which in turn can significantly increase the possibility of a contested divorce.
Spousal and Child Support Payments in High Asset Divorces
When one or both spouses happen to be high net worth individuals, determining spousal support and child support payments can be a challenge since their income level might be well beyond the usual scope of the state guidelines set under the law.
One party may claim that their needs and lifestyle require child support or alimony in excess of the usual amounts granted by the courts. From the paying party’s perspective, our attorneys will ensure that the court balances such requests within the limits of reason. In case you are the potential recipient of spousal and child support, our attorneys will focus on proving why your claim is fair and reasonable and fight hard to protect your rights.
Increased Possibility of Litigation in Huntington High Net Worth Divorces
When significant assets are on the line and when the parties involved have sufficient resources, they might be willing to go to any extent, including waging a protracted legal battle, to maximize their financial interests.
It’s one of the reasons why you should choose your divorce attorney carefully. Experienced attorneys know when to negotiate, when to compromise, and when to litigate. At Pence Law Firm, our Huntington high-asset divorce lawyers have the capability and resources to devise and pursue the right legal strategy to help you achieve the most desirable outcome.
Tips for Navigating a High Asset Divorce in Huntington, WV
- You can talk to your spouse as and when needed during the course of the divorce – as long as you can keep it civil. If you are no longer on talking terms or if one of you harbors serious resentments against the other, it’s a good idea to communicate with your spouse only through your lawyer.
- Do not badmouth your spouse in public or disclose any details about your divorce on social media. Be as restrained as possible about your high-profile lifestyle, expensive vacations, and luxury spending during the divorce proceedings – and remain discreet about these matters on social media.
- Do not indulge in tactics, such as excessive spending during the course of divorce proceedings (waste of marital assets). At the same, if you have any indication that your ex might be doing so, talk to our attorneys right away for the appropriate legal course of action.
- If you suspect that your spouse is hiding their assets, undervaluing their assets, or is trying to spend as much of the marital property as possible before the divorce gets finalized, do not confront them personally. It can only make things worse. Inform our lawyers, who will be prepared to hire forensic accounts to identify any marital assets that the other party may have hidden.
- Finally, do not let your emotions cloud your judgment – particularly when it comes to key issues like child custody and visitation. Any decision you make to appease your spouse or to spite them can adversely impact your own life as well as the lives of your children.
Our Huntington, WV High Asset Divorce Lawyers Can Protect Your Financial Interests
At Pence Law Firm PLLC, we know how stressful and financially draining high-net-worth divorces can be. During this difficult time, we can provide you with the support and counsel you need, help you navigate the marriage dissolution process, and fight hard to achieve the best outcome possible.
To find out how we can help you with your divorce, call our firm today at 304-345-7250 or contact us online and schedule a complimentary and confidential consultation with one of our attorneys.