Divorce is a turbulent time for anyone to go through, but becomes further stressful with the addition of sizeable assets. High net worth divorces require the expertise of family law attorneys who have handled multiple divorces of this nature and are aware of the financial repercussions of property divisions. Many high net worth individuals have assets tied up in various funds, corporations, and stocks which could create havoc on any divorce mediation.
The initial divorce proceedings in Arizona are relatively straightforward. Arizona is a no-fault state and does not require a reasoning for divorce proceedings to begin. One spouse may serve a Petition for the Dissolution of Marriage on another spouse. The spouse has a 60 day window of opportunity to respond to the Petition, during which time either spouse may issue a Preliminary Injunction to protect the assets of the marital estate. The Injunction will prevent one spouse from “hiding” assets, through sale, gifts, or other means. Divorces become more complicated when children are involved and the spouses need to work closely together to resolve issues of child custody or child support. Divorces additionally become further complicated when the marital estate is one of high net worth.
Arizona is a community property state, which means any assets purchased or acquired during the marriage are often the property of both spouses. While most tangible personal property is easy to divide during divorce proceedings, assets which do not have a readily available valuation lead to complex financial questions. High net worth individuals often have many assets acquired during the marriage which may require experts to accurately determine the true valuation, such as partnership shares, pensions, corporate stocks, or other financial assets.
There are unique exceptions to the general community property rule, including gifts and inheritances which were acquired during the marriage. However, nearly all property acquired during the marriage will be subject to the division of property during divorce proceedings. One method to avoid the division of property is to sign a pre-nuptial agreement prior to the marriage which protects your interest in current property as well as future property you may acquire. This is a step which many spouses with a high net worth background will take to protect their assets.
However, sometimes the whole of the marital estate is subject to division, due to Arizona’s community property laws, leading to a high net worth divorce. In these proceedings, it is important to have an experienced family law attorney who has not only assisted with high net worth divorces, but understands the financial repercussions of the division of assets.
If you are contemplating or are in the process of a high net worth divorce, do not hesitate to contact the attorneys of the Viles Law Firm. Our firm has assisted with over 1,000 family law cases, the majority of which involved divorce and the division of assets. Our firm’s experience is exclusively in family law and we will work closely with you to ensure you receive the property you are entitled to receive during a high net worth divorce. Contact our Phoenix, Arizona office today for your initial free consultation.