Once you’ve decided to dissolve your marriage, you naturally hope the process will be as quick and as painless as possible. Yet, if you are of significant means, a simple divorce may be a luxury you cannot afford. Your financial future may depend heavily on the terms of your divorce decree, so concessions or mistakes made in haste can haunt you for a very long time. At Dawson Family Law, PLLC, I have extensive experience in high-net-worth divorce. I have successfully represented spouses vying for their fair shares under Michigan’s equitable distribution laws. Drawing on more than 40 years of divorce litigation experience, I am prepared to pursue the best possible results in your case.
Under Michigan divorce law, the first stage of property division is deciding which assets are separate property belonging entirely to one spouse and which are marital property subject to equitable distribution.
This first stage is more complex for couples with larger marital estates, which often include such holdings as:
Arguments often ensue over whether separate property has been commingled and so must be treated as marital property. Some assets require a careful analysis of a spouse’s entitlement, such as stock options, retirement savings and other perks of executive employment.
The second stage is to assign values to items that go into the marital estate. When deciding on asset division, Michigan courts must apply what are known as Sparks factors. These include:
Spouses in high-net-worth divorces often disagree on the methods or the outcomes of asset valuations. As your determined advocate, I bring to the court’s attention all relevant facts that support your position, including the tax implications of the distribution.
Child custody and support determinations can be more involved for people of significant means. Decisions must be made about payments for private school tuition, college costs, music lessons, sports activities, summer camp, travel abroad and other expenses related to maintaining the children’s standard of living. Such concerns can also make deciding on custody schedules more complicated, especially for two-career couples. I am experienced in analyzing these concerns of high-net-worth couples and working out arrangements that address them effectively.
When a substantial estate is at stake in a divorce, many couples use mediation or collaborative divorce to work out the terms of property division. In addition, the spouses may have signed a premarital agreement that covers these matters. However, litigation may be necessary in certain situations, such as when a spouse hides assets, misreports income or makes fraudulent transfers of property. If a premarital agreement exists, either spouse may challenge its validity. Litigation means a longer divorce process that requires extensive discovery and reports from forensic accounting experts.
Even when a high-net-worth divorce gets contentious, I strive to spare you undue acrimony and emotional turmoil while I represent your interests vigorously. My goal is to focus on your future and arrive at the best results for your financial security.
Dawson Family Law, PLLC represents clients in high-net-worth divorce in the greater Detroit area. For a free initial consultation to discuss the process and your options, please call 833-671-4445 or contact me online. My office is conveniently located one-half mile south of M-59 (Hall Road) in Sterling Heights.