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Atlanta Divorce Attorney > Blog > Divorce > How Are High-Net-Worth Divorces Different in Georgia?

How Are High-Net-Worth Divorces Different in Georgia?


Things tend to get more complicated depending on how much money is involved – and divorce is no exception. A high-net-worth divorce is exactly what it sounds like – a divorce with a significant amount of money on the line. When there’s so much at stake, both spouses may be willing to invest considerable time and resources into the legal battle ahead. But even if a high-net-worth divorce is amicable in nature, a number of complexities may provide plenty of headaches for spouses who just want to go their separate ways without any disputes. So how exactly is a high-net-worth divorce different compared to a “normal” divorce in Georgia? Let’s find out:

There’s a Different “Standard of Living” 

The standard of living you and your family enjoyed during the marriage may affect the divorce process. And if spouses have high net worths, it’s safe to say that the standard of living was quite high during the marriage. To begin, the standard of living your family enjoyed can affect child support. If your child has enjoyed many opportunities, vacations, private school education, and of extra-curricular activities during the marriage, then the family court will want parents to try to maintain this standard of living after the divorce for the  children.

Courts want to try to keep the standard of living consistent for children, which may help avoid additional mental health issues for the children after two parents divorce. In addition, the standard formula for calculating child support may not apply to high-net-worth or high-income spouses, as these parents’ incomes may exceed the amounts in the standard formula. Instead, the court may use their own judgment to determine the best amount for child support on a case-by-case basis by use of “deviations” in the child support calculation. The standard of living concept may also apply to how much a spouse is required to pay in alimony or “spousal support.” The  standard of living that the family experienced during the marriage is a factor to be considered when determining child support and spousal support, but it is not the only factor, as when two households will need to be supported post divorce there may be less available funds than when all available funds were used to support one household for the family.

Complex Assets 

High-net-worth divorces are also more likely to be different due to the prevalence of complex assets. As the name suggests, complex assets are assets and accounts that are difficult to divide. They may include business interests (such as restricted stock shares), real estate, collectibles, art, and much more. Assets can be complex whenever their value is debatable or difficult to assess or when the asset may not be transferable. For example, a priceless painting may not have a clear price tag. Complex investments, such as pre-IPO stocks, may also be very difficult to assess and divide.

The Potential for Hidden Assets 

High-net-worth spouses are usually quite knowledgeable about financial matters (or they may hire experts to handle their finances for them). In any case, the potential for hidden assets may be more common with high-net-worth divorces. Today, there are many methods for concealing assets – including cryptocurrency, offshore accounts, or even full-on money laundering. Whatever the case may be, it makes sense to monitor your marital assets carefully. Forensic accountants and lawyers with experience in high-net-worth divorces can assist in the process of locating potentially hidden assets.

Where Can I Find a Qualified, Experienced Divorce Attorney in Georgia? 

If you’ve been searching for a qualified, experienced Atlanta divorce attorney, look no further than Kaye, Lembeck, Hitt & French. We have specific experience with high-net-worth divorces, giving you the confidence you need to move ahead with this complex legal process. We know that when there’s so much at stake, you need a solid action plan for your divorce. Book your consultation today, and we can assess your unique situation before recommending the best route forward.




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