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High net worth divorce asset division

North Carolina residents may be interested in the issue of asset division in high net worth divorces. According to one wealth management professional, high net worth individuals often have more complex and sophisticated investment issues. These assets have to be identified and their value determined before an equitable division can be achieved. Wealthy individuals often have more flexibility in their choices of investments and in their asset management resources.

When assets are cash, a straightforward, fifty-fifty division between the parties is easily done. However, when assets are tied up in a business, it may become complicated. Simply dividing the company in half still leaves the question of who controls the company. Ordering one party to pay the other in installments may become inequitable if the company were to become very successful or to go bankrupt.

Vigilance in looking for hidden assets or money transferred through loans or purchases by family members is a necessary aspect of asset division in a high net worth divorce. In the case of an illiquid business asset, one option is to have an independent party designated to receive business documents to assure that value remains equally distributed. If a settlement includes a percentage of an ex-spouse's future income, settlement language that specifically includes income from stock options exercised in the future may be wise.

Divorce and property division and settlement may be straightforward and simple in many divorces. In the case of high-asset divorce, however, simply determining what assets exist may be difficult. Retirement assets, stock options, collectibles, and real estate may present challenges to equitable division. A counselor experienced in asset valuation and division, child custody, support and settlement strategies may be able to make a significant impact on finances post-divorce.

Source: Financial Planning , "Finding Hidden Assets: Digging Deep in HNW Divorce", Andrew Pavia, March 24, 2014

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