How does someone know if their divorce is considered high net worth? A high net worth divorce has traditionally been defined as a divorce involving more than one million dollars ($1,000,000.00) in assets. This question is important to think about as there are unique considerations to keep in mind if someone is in this situation, and not taking the right steps can change the end result of their divorce.

Knowing what one is up against during their divorce will help them prepare for what is ahead. We have outlined a few of the unique considerations that can be specific to a high net worth divorce:

  • Each Party’s Needs
    The court will review the needs of each party involved, and when this happens during a regular divorce vs. a high net worth divorce, the needs can vary greatly. Traditionally, a high net worth couple is more likely to spend more and maintain a different standard of living than others who are not considered high net worth individuals. It is important to know that this is taken into consideration during the divorce process. If one is on the side of the “breadwinner,” the other party may need support during the divorce or alimony after the divorce to meet their needs and standard of living.
  • Non-Matrimonial Property
    Worrying about one’s marital (or matrimonial) property can be enough to stress about let alone consider their separate (or non-matrimonial) property. First, let’s point out the difference of each. Marital property includes the assets and debt that came about after a couple was married while separate property includes the assets and debt that was owned prior to the marriage and that did not change during the marriage. The discussions around which should be considered marital or separate property are usually even more significant during a high net worth divorce and should be considered prior to starting the process. Leaning on an experienced divorce attorney is key.

RELATED: Read these tips on how to recover from a high net worth divorce.

  • Business Interests 
    High net worth divorces may involve ownership interests in a business or multiple businesses. The valuation and division of business interests must be given substantial considerations as part of the divorce process, and an expert valuation may be necessary which could cost the parties both time and money. In addition, a business is a complicated entity and adding a divorce on top of it can create a battle between both spouses involved. The good news is that there are options—including selling the business and splitting the proceeds, splitting the business if one’s business is structured in such a way that allows this to be a viable option, buyout of the other party’s interest in the business, or continuing joint ownership. These are matters that must be reviewed and discussed with an experienced divorce attorney.

Understanding what is at stake during a high net worth divorce is important in addition to seeking the help from an experienced divorce attorney who focuses on high net worth divorce cases. With the right support, you will be able to navigate all the issues that may come up during your divorce which can set you up for a positive future.

For information about what our experienced attorneys at Wilder Mahood McKinley & Oglesby can do to help you in your high net worth divorce, contact us online or call our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, at 412-261-4040.

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