Are you planning for a Michigan divorce, and do you own substantial assets with your spouse? When wealthy couples in Michigan get divorced, those high-asset divorces often involve many complicating factors and issues that are not present in more straightforward divorce cases. While all Michigan divorces will involve reliance on Michigan law, you should understand some of the key ways in which your high-net-worth divorce might require special attention. The following are five things to know about high-asset divorces in Michigan.
You Need to Have a Lawyer with Experience Handling High-Asset Divorce Cases
Given the complex issues that arise in high-asset divorce cases, you should always hire a divorce lawyer who has specific experience representing clients in high-asset or high-net-worth divorces in Michigan.
Anticipate Complex Property Division Issues
If you are planning for a high-net-worth divorce, you should know that you will likely be dealing with complex property division issues. Whether there are a variety of stocks and other intangible investments, real property, valuable collections, or other assets, you will need to plan for a complex property division process. Yet keep in mind that, even in high-asset divorces involving complex property, courts still divide marital property based on the theory of equitable distribution.
You May Need to Hire a Forensic Accountant
High-asset divorces are notorious for involving issues of hidden or concealed property, especially when one of the spouses was the primary earner in the family. It can be difficult and often impossible for a spouse to know how to locate hidden assets without help from a forensic accountant. This is a task with which forensic accountants routinely assist spouses involved in divorces, and a forensic accountant can provide the evidence you need to make sure that all marital property is accurately disclosed and classified.
Your Property May Require an Expert Appraisal
Many spouses in high-net-worth divorces have marital assets that are unique and complicated to place a market value on. For instance, you might have a valuable art or book collection, or if you own antique cars or antique furniture, you will likely need to hire an appraiser who has access to and knowledge of auction records and estimates, and who can provide you with a fair market value appraisal for your property. In some cases, both spouses may need to hire an appraiser, and if the appraisals are significantly different from one another, it may be necessary for the court to look to a midpoint, or for the parties to seek a third appraisal.
Your Divorce Could Take More Time
If you are anticipating a high-asset divorce and you are also expecting a contested divorce, you should speak with your lawyer about the likely length of the divorce process. If you cannot reach an agreement with your spouse about the division of marital property, it could take a significant amount of time to locate and classify all marital assets in a high net worth divorce, and it may take additional time to find appraisers who have expertise appraising the kinds of assets that you and your spouse own.
Discuss Your Case with Our Michigan Divorce Lawyers
High-net-worth divorces often involve complex property and assets that are difficult to value and divide. Our Michigan divorce lawyers are dedicated to representing Michigan residents who are going through high-asset divorces. Our firm has years of experience handling divorce cases involving high-value and complex property, and we can speak with you today about what you can expect in your divorce case. Contact the Law Offices of Michael A. Robbins to learn more about how we can help you.