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What makes a divorce a high-asset divorce?

On Behalf of | Jan 18, 2024 | Firm News

If you’re looking into a divorce in Virginia, you may have encountered the term “high-asset divorce,” one many outside the legal profession aren’t familiar with. Its meaning is easy enough to deduce from the name alone: a divorce that involves dividing many valuable assets between former spouses. Still, the exact criteria that place a divorce in that category remain nebulous. You may find yourself wondering: what makes a divorce a high-asset divorce?

What is a high-asset divorce?

The generally agreed-upon definition of a high-asset divorce is one in which the marital estate is comprised of liquid assets exceeding $1,000,000 in value that must be distributed among two people. 

Examples of assets that are commonly involved in high-asset divorces include:

  • Residential and commercial real estate
  • Businesses
  • Bank accounts, including retirement accounts
  • Stocks and other investments
  • Luxury items

The high-asset divorce process itself isn’t much different than that of a typical divorce. That is, until the property division stage. Property division is the stage when a couple’s assets must be valued and split between them. As you can imagine, this process can become quite complex and time-consuming when so many valuable assets must be divided fairly and equitably.

Unique concerns in high-asset divorces

There are several issues and concerns that are unique to high-asset divorces. Those preparing to go through this process should ready themselves for the following:

  • Tax consequences of divorce
  • Determining spousal and child support payment amounts
  • The risk of a spouse hiding assets
  • Protecting family heirlooms, gifts, and inheritances
  • Executing prenuptial and postnuptial agreements

Getting the proper legal representation is crucial when considering divorce as a high-net-worth individual. An attorney who’s experienced in high-asset divorce matters can guide you through this process confidently and competently, addressing your unique needs and positioning you for a successful outcome.