St. Albans, WV High Asset Divorce Lawyers

    Ending a marriage is a complex and intricate process—unfortunately, having substantial assets and a high income makes the entire process even harder on both parties. High-earning couples work hard to build up their family’s net worth over the years. While navigating the issues of a high-net-worth divorce takes time, doing so puts you in a better position to prepare for life after divorce.

    Looking for help with your high-asset divorce in St. Albans, WV? It’s time to talk to the team at Pence Law Firm. Call us at 304-345-7250 and let’s come up with a plan that helps you look forward to your future.

    What to Expect in a High-Asset Divorce

    While divorce is never easy, some circumstances make it more challenging. Having many assets is one of those circumstances. Money often makes life easier, but it certainly complicates the divorce process. In many situations, the fastest divorces are those between couples with limited or no assets to divide. Don’t be discouraged, though—working with an experienced high-asset divorce attorney can help you see the light at the end of the tunnel.

    Perhaps the most time-consuming aspect of a high-net-worth divorce is the division of assets. Both spouses have contributed to the couple’s net worth, so it makes sense that neither side is willing to give up more than they must. The process of identifying, valuing, and dividing assets will be a core part of your divorce.

    You should also expect that your custody and child support discussions may differ slightly from those in standard divorces. Children of high-income couples often have substantial expenses related to private school, extracurricular activities, travel, and more. Furthermore, the division of domestic labor may fall largely to one partner while the other works. These factors can influence child support and custody decisions.

    Additionally, you may find that there’s a lot of public interest in your divorce. While it seems morbid to care about the details of someone else’s marriage, people are often nosy about big names in their community. If this is an issue likely to affect your divorce, it is vital that you work with an attorney who knows how to protect your privacy.

    The Division of Assets and Alimony

    Like many other states, West Virginia follows the legal principle of equitable distribution. When the court is left to decide how assets and debts are divided, they do so in a fair and balanced way for both parties. This means that you shouldn’t assume both parties will walk away with 50% of the marital assets. Instead, consider factors like:

    • Monetary and non-monetary contributions to the marriage.
    • How property has appreciated over time.
    • Contributions made to either party’s training or education.
    • Lost opportunities to seek education or advance one’s career.
    • Both parties’ income.

    Remember that having the court decide how property is split up is generally the last resort; it shouldn’t be your first step. This involves giving up your privacy and having the details of your asset division accessible to the public. When you and your ex-partner can negotiate a division agreement via informal discussions or mediation, those records are kept private.

    You’ll also want to consider the tax implications of different settlement agreements before signing off on anything. While retirement funds can be divided by a QDRO without penalty, there are other potential tax consequences when property is divided. 

    For example, if one person chooses to keep the marital home, they may incur a capital gains tax when they sell it. These unexpected costs add up quickly, so discuss your concerns with your attorney and financial planner.

    Alimony is frequently awarded in high-asset divorces, particularly when one spouse is the breadwinner and the other works as a homemaker. Alimony may be scheduled and paid out in several ways, so weigh your options before agreeing to anything.

    Child Custody and Support

    Child custody and support are core issues in any divorce, and they are often more complex when a couple has substantial assets. If one spouse has been a stay-at-home parent to support their partner’s career, they may be unwilling to give up that role in exchange for 50/50 custody. 

    On the flip side, a spouse who works long or irregular hours may be unable to commit to a rigid parenting schedule. Both parties must work toward a mutually beneficial solution with their child’s best interests in mind.

    West Virginia uses the income shares support formula. This weighs both parties’ income, how much parenting time each party has, and the expenses associated with childrearing, among other factors. However, standard formulas are often inaccurate for high-asset and high-income couples. As a result, you may want to negotiate an agreement that best provides for your child’s needs.

    Why You Should Choose the Team at Pence Law Firm

    Choosing the right attorney is a critical component of getting through your divorce with everything you need for the next chapter in your life. Our firm knows what it takes to get through the minefield of high-asset divorce unscathed. We’ll sit down to learn more about your priorities, what you want life to look like after divorce, and how you want to approach your case. 

    While some individuals want a cooperative approach that protects the co-parenting relationship, others prefer a more aggressive approach to their divorce. Your preferences will guide how we handle your divorce.

    As you work through your divorce, there will likely be at least a few unexpected hurdles or issues. Thanks to our extensive experience in high-asset divorces, we are prepared for them all. You can rest easy knowing that your future is in reliable hands.

    Contact Us Today to Explore Your Divorce Options

    If you’re ready to start working toward the next stage in your life, set up a time to talk to the St. Albans high-asset divorce lawyers at Pence Law Firm. Call us at 304-345-7250 or send us a message on our website to schedule your consultation now.