High Asset Divorce

A divorce is rarely a happy time for anyone involved. A union that most times is begun with joy and high expectations has failed, and the partners are prepared to go their own way. If children are involved, the stress is compounded. Who will the children live with? What about visitation? Will they change schools? Ultimately, and in its most technical sense, a divorce is the dissolution of a partnership, and the two entities must find a way to equitably split the assets. Because of the emotion involved, it’s hard for most people to think clearly, and if that’s the case, it’s even more difficult to make decisions. Not all divorces go to court, but if they need to, then it can be a maze; and if one partner has an attorney and the other doesn’t, the one without is at a serious disadvantage. Because of this, in most cases, a divorce lawyer isn’t only helpful, but is also necessary.

Let McNeely Stephenson Help You

Going through a divorce is a difficult time, and you need all the help you can get. Let the attorneys of McNeely Stephenson in New Albany help. We have both the knowledge and experience to help you objectively view the situation and set goals, and we have the resources to do the leg work that often times makes the difference. Don’t take a chance on making the wrong decisions, whether with children or assets. McNeely Stephenson has the knowledge to help you get through this process as painlessly as possible. For answers to your questions or to set up a consultation, contact McNeely Stephenson online or call us at 812.725.8224. Whatever the specifics of your case, we will be relentless in fighting for you.

Divorce in Indiana

According to the American Psychological Association (APA), it’s estimated that in Western cultures 90 percent of individuals marry by the time they’re 50; however, roughly half of marriages end in divorce, and the divorce rate for subsequent marriages is even higher. Indiana is one of the leading states for divorces in the United States. As of 2015, more than 12.7 percent of people in the state have gone through a divorce, ranking it 10th in the country in divorces, according to a report by ABC News. As a result, although some might find it distasteful, it’s a good idea to consider what may happen if the marriage doesn’t work out.

Protecting Assets in Divorce

Often times, during a divorce one of the most basic but important things to consider is the finances. This can include anything from homes to joint retirement accounts. Fortunately, there are some ways to prepare.

Prenuptial Agreement

Perhaps the most well-known and effective way to protect assets in a divorce is a prenuptial agreement. This is a contract written to determine how funds will be disbursed in the event of a divorce. For such agreements to be valid, both sides must read and sign the contract. However, even if signed and valid, in many cases during the divorce the agreement may still be challenged for various reasons.

Don’t Get Emotional

Often times, divorce proceedings occur during times of extreme anger, and one spouse may attempt to get revenge on another by becoming petty and fighting or arguing over small things that don’t truly matter. Experts suggest that is an easy way to make the divorce messy, and warn that it can work both ways.

Know the Value of Property

It’s impossible to fairly divide property without knowing its value. It’s a good idea to have property appraised, whether it is a house or a painting, in order to know what an equitable split would be.

Know All Financial Assets

It is a good idea to have a firm grasp on financial matters and tax implications. For example, you should know what is in joint retirement accounts and other financial investments. If they are split or different financial arrangements are made, know who is responsible for paying the taxes.

Family Business

A business owned by both partners is often the most high-value asset in a divorce. In a perfect world, the couple would file a contractual agreement before the marriage in case the union did not work out. However, more often than not, it is not a perfect world. The next solution is for one partner to buy the other out, but with emotions involved and the intangible equity either partner may have put into the business, this often isn’t realistic. The partners, if they’re civil, may try remaining as co-owners. However, in many cases, the course of action that makes the most sense is to sell the business and split the proceeds.

Investment Portfolios

Dividing investment portfolios during or after a divorce can be a complicated process. It’s not as simple as simply dividing investments down the middle, as each one may have a different value depending on several variables. One solution, perhaps the most effective one, is to list all the joint investments and allow a forensic accountant to evaluate. After the evaluation, the accountant should be able to give an educated idea of the value of each at present and in the future, and can advise as to what an equitable split would look like.

Inheritance

Whether inheritances are considered marital property and subject to an equitable split depends on the state. However, what is done with the inheritance may affect its status. For example, if the inheritance is comingled, or put in a joint account or used to pay joint bills, its status may change. Different rules apply to different situations, and it is imperative to seek legal advice to sort it out.

Get Legal Help

Divorce can be not only messy but tricky. It pays off in the long run to hire professionals who have experience in the matter to represent you or to at least act as consultants. There are simple legal maneuvers that can both help and harm you – professionals will show you what these are and how to make the best decisions.  

McNeely Stephenson, a law firm in New Albany, Indiana, has faithfully served the people and communities of Indiana and Kentucky for several years in a variety of legal areas. We have the experience and resources to help. To ask a question or to set up a consultation, contact us online or call us at 812.725.8224.