High-Asset Divorce/Divorce for Self-Employed
Bucks County High-Asset Divorce & Divorce for the Self-Employed
Kevin Hand has extensive experience with high net-worth divorce. When complex financial holdings such as businesses, stock options or complex retirement plans are part of your marital assets, you need a divorce lawyer who understands finance and tax issues. His partners and support staff recognize that every high net worth case that we litigate has unique factors that must be addressed with an individualized approach in order to maximize your result. Most high net worth divorces include many other issues outside of the assets of the estates. These issues include child custody, alimony, property distribution and more.
As your attorney, Mr. Hand, your Bucks County divorce lawyer, will work with you to provide you with experienced and knowledgeable counsel and representation for the duration of your divorce – from initial consultation through settlement or trial. In representing high-asset divorces, one finds out that there is a full-support team backing the Bucks County divorce lawyer and the client.
High-asset divorce in Bucks County requires the assistance of various financial experts. Kevin Hand has relationships with tax experts, forensic accountants, and business valuation experts. These experts are an integral part of the valuation process and he works hand-in-hand with them to identify and inventory all assets and debts in the estate.
Mr. Hand routinely discovers assets hidden by a spouse in an attempt to shelter the asset from the distribution process. As your Bucks County attorney, however, he will maintain the highest regard for the client/counsel confidentiality agreement and share only information with these experts that is required to successfully litigate your interests.
Placing fair market valuations on complex holdings requires the most elite and sophisticated accountants, forensic accountants, and tax experts. Mr. Hand’s experts will scrutinize all information searching for holdings such as:
- Businesses and Partnerships (including LLC’s)
- Stock Options and Portfolios
- Executive Bonuses and Incentive Packages
- Benefit Plans
- Retirement Plans
- Deferred Compensation Plans
Other Assets in Divorce
Often the most contentious area of the Equitable Distribution portion of a Bucks County high net worth divorce involves one spouse owning and operating a business or partnership. The valuation process will likely include a forensic analysis of the business or partnership. This area of discovery/ questioning could also involve an expert who determines the business/partnership value by reviewing all business records and may include monitoring the business if it primarily deals in cash.
Real estate in Bucks County and beyond the county borders is often the most valuable asset in the marital estate and with high-asset divorces in Bucks County. The marital residence, investment property, vacation homes, and commercial property can be considered marital property. Determining whether real estate is marital property, how much (if any) of the property is marital, and ultimately who ends up with which asset is sometimes extremely contentious. Title to the property is not always determinative of whether the property is a marital asset.
Stock options are a marital asset in Bucks County divorces and all divorces in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Determining a fair market value for stock options and how much is marital property can also be lengthy and litigious. Often the parties to the divorce do not agree on ownership and value of this asset. Determining when the options were granted and if and when they vested play a significant role in whether the stock options are a marital asset.
Retirement assets such as an IRA, 401K, and 403B acquired during the marriage and/or the appreciation of those assets during the marriage are considered marital property. Remember, just because the person had the asset prior to the divorce does not mean that the accretion of value or contributions are not part of marital estate! Generally speaking, this is also true for Pensions, SEPs, SERPs, and deferred compensation plans. All of these assets can be divided through a Qualified Domestic Relations Order (QDRO), which helps assure that each party ultimately receives what is determined to be their marital property. Specific care should be taken to avoid adverse tax consequences.