Just as every marriage is unique, so too is every divorce. Issues that are unimportant and easy to resolve for one couple may be critical and complex for another. Couples with a high net worth may find that distribution of their assets is far more complicated than in other divorces. And a collaborative divorce can provide the best solution for resolving the issue.
Property distribution basics
At the outset of a divorce, one of the first things a court will seek to do is to classify the couple’s assets and liabilities as either separate property or marital property. Separate property is any asset owned entirely by one spouse and will likely remain with that spouse following the divorce.
Since New Jersey is an equitable distribution state, all marital property will be divided by the court in what it determines is a fair manner. The key here is that the division is based on the court’s judgment of fairness – this may result in an equal division, but it may not.
The potential issue for high-asset couples
Couples with a high net worth tend to have assets not only of greater value than other couples but also a greater variety. Things like stocks, business interests, inheritances and many others are much more common with high-asset couples. This complicates property division and makes it more likely that however the court decides to divide it, the couple will not be satisfied with the result.
Engaging in a collaborative divorce removes this problem from the court’s hands. The couple themselves understands their property better than anyone else and is in a better position to determine what is truly fair for each spouse. They retain control of the process and the result, meaning that they are much happier with the outcome over the long term.
A successful collaborative divorce not only requires an attorney who is experienced in New Jersey family law but also one who is experienced in the collaborative divorce process. If you think this option may suit your circumstances, speak to a professional who can fulfill both needs.