Brentwood High-Asset Divorce Attorneys
In any divorce, issues like property division and alimony can be difficult enough to sort out, especially when the parties disagree over how to divide up the marital property or whether one party is entitled to alimony from the other and if so, how much and for how long. When the couple has accumulated a large number of high-value assets or represents high-income earners, these issues become much more complicated and often much more contentious.
The attorneys at Beal, Nations & Crutcher have experience and expertise when it comes to dealing with high-asset divorce cases in Brentwood, Tennessee. If you have high-dollar marital assets to split or high-value separate assets to protect, our Brentwood family law attorneys offer legal advice and representation to make sure your needs are met when it comes to issues like alimony or property distribution and that you are not unfairly taken advantage of. We’ll help you resolve matters fairly and with less stress through negotiations or mediation, or we’ll litigate in court as necessary to protect your interests. Learn more about high-asset divorce issues below, and call Beal, Nations & Crutcher in Brentwood for help with a complex or contentious high-asset divorce.
Common Legal Issues in a High-Asset Divorce
High-asset divorce cases often deal with a large number of high-dollar, complex assets, including:
- Real estate investment properties
- Business entities
- Stock portfolios and Investments
- International assets
- Insurance policies
- Retirement plans
- Profit-sharing plans
- Fine art and jewelry subject to appraisal
Dealing with these assets appropriately often raises difficult factual and legal questions, such as the following:
- How do courts deal with the appreciation in value of separate assets brought into the marriage? What if the appreciation is due to the active effort by either or both spouses? What if the investment is passive?
- What happens to a separate asset acquired during marriage through gift or inheritance if the funds were not diligently maintained in a separate account?
- What are the tax issues surrounding how valuable property is distributed? Tennessee law requires courts to consider “[t]he tax consequences to each party, costs associated with the reasonably foreseeable sale of the asset, and other reasonably foreseeable expenses associated with the asset” in making an equitable division of marital property.
It is not only the property division that can be impacted by a high-asset divorce. When it comes to alimony, courts are required to consider a number of factors that can be more difficult to work through in a high-asset divorce, including the division of marital property, each party’s separate property, the standard of living created during the marriage, each party’s earning capacity and financial resources, and the tax consequences of an alimony award.
Business Valuation Issues
If either spouse is the owner of a business, or if the spouses own a business together, then some or all of the business could count as a marital asset subject to equitable distribution. Rather than requiring a business to be sold, the court could allow a business owner-spouse to keep the business and offset the value of the asset through the distribution of other marital property or a lump sum alimony payment. Bur first, the business has to be properly valued.
If the parties can’t agree on the business’ value, the court will have to do the job. There are several different business valuation methods the court can use that can give different results. These methods include the following:
The Market Approach. A business’ fair market value is how much a willing buyer would spend to acquire the business on the open market. This valuation method is undertaken by comparing the company to other similar businesses which sold recently in the area. This method might not work if the business is unique and no comparable sales can be applied.
The Asset Approach. The company’s assets and liabilities are totaled up, and the liabilities are subtracted from the assets to arrive at the business’ book value. Although this method sounds straightforward, it can be a complex process that yields different results depending on who is conducting the valuation.
The Income Approach. The current profitability of the business is compared to its projected growth to come up with a value for the business. This approach is the one most commonly used, although different assumptions about growth can lead to different valuations.
The Cost Approach. This method asks what it would cost to start up the business. This method works best for new businesses that have not generated a lot of income or growth, and the valuation reflects what has actually been invested in the business financially.
The Liquidation Approach. If the business were to be forcibly sold, what would it fetch on the market? This method is typically not applied when considering the value of a marital asset, since the courts are unlikely to require the sale of a going concern.
Different methods are appropriate for different types of businesses. The high-asset divorce attorneys at Beal, Nations & Crutcher can make the case to the court for an appropriate valuation method that yields a fair result for the property division in your divorce.
Our Attorneys Are Here to Help With High-Asset Divorce Issues in Brentwood, Tennessee
As you move away from a marriage relationship, protecting your most valuable assets, or making sure you are treated fairly, are vital considerations. Beal, Nations & Crutcher can help you with that. Call our Brentwood high-asset divorce attorneys at 615-861-2304 to discuss your needs and concerns.