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September 27, 2023

Navigating the Complexities of High-Asset Divorces in Charleston

a judges gavel with two gold rings

Divorce is tricky to navigate — emotions run high and much is at stake. A high-asset divorce can be even more complex as it has implications for your family and wealth. A high-asset divorce happens when at least one spouse has marital assets valued at $1 million or more.

Here are key aspects to help you prepare to navigate the complexities of high-asset divorces.

Understanding High-Asset Divorces

Divorces in South Carolina are on a downtrend, including high-asset divorces in Charleston. But statistics still show 2.4 divorces per 1,000 people in South Carolina. High-asset divorces are distinct cases with unique features, including:

  • Complexity: High-asset divorces may take longer because there are more assets to evaluate. Hurrying the process can potentially end in the loss of assets.
  • Taxes: High-asset divorces have potential tax implications that must be analyzed and considered.
  • Cost: These divorces typically cost more due to the number of experts that could be involved and also because of the length of the proceedings.

Taking these factors into consideration, it’s crucial an expert lawyer handles your case. A lawyer helps ensure all assets are declared and accounted for and that you reduce the stress of the situation by having a knowledgeable mediator.

All divorces require dividing assets, but high-asset divorces involve a wider variety of investments and property. Common assets and properties involved in these proceedings include:

  • Real estate, including family and vacation homes, investment properties and commercial properties
  • Retirement accounts
  • Businesses
  • Artwork
  • Cars, boats and other vehicles
  • Jewelry
  • Offshore investments, trusts and stocks

Because of all these assets involved, one of your most significant considerations would be the financial implications of a high-asset divorce and its complexities. You may wonder how your business will be divided, who will get the house and about outcomes like alimony and child support.

Unique Challenges in Charleston

A high-asset divorce in Charleston has its challenges. Still, your lawyer will present these to you and help you with the way forward. One of these considerations in marital property law in South Carolina. A lawyer will help you declare your separate property and your communal property.

It may surprise you what can qualify as separate property — property received as a gift from a third party and even property inherited by one spouse during marriage may qualify. Remember that a judge will consider several factors before declaring property separate or communal.

Classifying separate and marital property is vital in an equitable distribution in high-asset divorces. Other factors the law takes into consideration are:

  • The length of the marriage
  • The conduct of both spouses during the marriage
  • Age and health
  • Financial status

All this considered, one of the greatest challenges in any divorce can be the preservation of family businesses and professional practices. Divorcing is not easy, but each party’s conduct during the proceedings can have a lasting impact on business, professional practices and your reputation. This is why having a mediator is crucial.

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Financial planning during a divorce

Financial Planning and Valuation

Financial planning in a high-asset divorce helps you navigate your divorce by taking steps to protect your assets and map your way forward. Areas to involve in your planning include how assets will be distributed, tax consequences, maintenance, custody, spousal support, living arrangements, retirement, Social Security benefits and alimony.

You may want to consider bringing a financial expert or forensic accountant onto your team. They can help you:

  • Trace and evaluate assets.
  • Find discrepancies in income.
  • Investigate tax implications.

A financial expert can also help you determine the best valuation methods for your complex assets like your businesses and investments.

Alimony and Spousal Support Considerations

Spousal support and alimony in a high-asset divorce have the potential to be quite high. Still, a judge will consider the amount of property that the spouse seeking support takes from the divorce — this will impact how much support should be paid, if any.

Other factors also influence the amount of spousal support or alimony to be paid, including:

  • The need of the spouse seeking support.
  • The length of your marriage.
  • The standard of living during your marriage.

It is important to speak to your lawyer about the tax implications of alimony and spousal support. The IRS has strict requirements in place for deducting alimony payments. The requirements include but are not limited to:

  • Making payments according to your divorce agreement.
  • Making cash or check payments.
  • Ensuring that alimony payments are in no way tied to child support payments.
  • Filing separate income tax returns.

Child Custody and Support Matters

We know how much your children matter — more than anything else. And we understand that it’s a sensitive and emotional experience to make child support and child custody arrangements. Because of this, it’s crucial that a lawyer is involved in handling your child’s support and your child’s custody in high-asset divorces. It’s a true blessing if you and your spouse can agree and be amicable, but even so, having a mediator is best so that you don’t make the most critical decisions during a time of high emotion.

The law will also consider your child’s emotional needs, as well as their financial needs. The court will consider your child’s age, the relationship between each parent and child, each parent’s ability to provide a stable environment, the proximity to your child’s school and activities concerning living arrangements. You and your lawyer can work together to ensure your child support meets your child’s needs.

The court will examine how to make co-parenting as effective as possible for your child. Co-parenting naturally has its challenges, but there are also potential solutions you can consider. If different parenting styles challenge you, you could establish a set of healthy do’s and don’ts that primarily benefit your child. Challenges should be resolved through professional mediation to offer the best outcome for your child.

READ  The Best Times of Year to Begin Divorce Proceedings

Protecting Privacy and Confidentiality

Privacy in a high-asset divorce is paramount. Divorce is painful enough without having your personal life publicized and scrutinized. Privacy is a significant factor in these divorce proceedings because everything can be affected, including your family, your relationships, your reputation, your business and your business partners.

Your lawyer can help you establish methods to safeguard sensitive financial information, including having confidentiality agreements in place. Confidentiality agreements are critical for ensuring privacy and protecting your relationships and assets.

If you can, opt for mediation and collaborative divorce options. Proceedings can be quicker, less complicated, less expensive and less stressful if you are both amicable and collaborative. Proceeding this way requires compromise, communication and trust.

Legal Representation and Expert Advice

A high-asset divorce requires legal representation to proceed as smoothly as possible. The value an experienced divorce attorney brings to these intricate situations is unquestionable. Your lawyer will assist you in collaborating with financial experts and specialists in their fields so that your assets, family and privacy are as safeguarded as possible. Your lawyer can expertly negotiate strategies that could lead to favorable outcomes.

high asset divorce lawyer in charleston, sc

Trust Lauren Taylor Law

Divorce proceedings are complex and it’s understandable to feel overwhelmed or like everything is on the line. At Lauren Taylor Law, we have the privilege of being involved in high-asset divorce case studies in Charleston, learning from our successful outcomes so that we can apply the same key practices to your unique case.

You can trust Lauren Taylor Law as your high-asset divorce attorney in Charleston. We will fight alongside you every step of the way.

Contact Lauren Taylor Law today.

Navigating the Complexities of High-Asset Divorces in Charleston
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Navigating the Complexities of High-Asset Divorces in Charleston
Divorce is tricky to navigate — emotions run high and much is at stake. A high-asset divorce can be even more complex as it has implications for your family and wealth. A high-asset divorce happens when at least one spouse has marital assets valued at $1 million or more.
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Lauren Taylor Law Firm
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