Divorce is a financial shock for most couples. For business owners, executives and other high-net- worth individuals, the stakes are especially high. In Indiana, the divorce court is required to divide all property owned by either spouse on the date the case is filed.
Full disclosure of assets can be tricky, requiring a careful inventory. In addition to personal property, assets subject to division can include:
- Business interests, including as sole proprietorships, closely held corporations, family partnerships and limited liability companies
- Vested contract rights
- Intangible property such as trademarks, copyrights, royalties, and patents
- Trust Interests
- Residential and commercial real estate
- Retirement assets like IRAs, 401(k)s, and pensions
- Financial investments such as stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and other securities
- Deferred compensation (top hat plans)
- Employment assets, such as restricted stock units, stock options, and even health savings accounts
- Bonuses and commissions
The court can award : (a) particular pieces of the property to each of you, (b) order property sold and divide the proceeds of sale, and (c) order the distribution of benefits (like pensions) that will be paid after the divorce is final. In most cases, the law calls for an equal (50/50) division of the marital estate absent extenuating circumstances. Circumstances that can support a deviation include premarital property, inheritances, gifts, dissipation of assets, earnings, earnings ability, and other financial resources.
High asset divorces typically employ experts to provide to value business interests, retirement assets, and even personal property. Assets should not necessarily be divided simply based on their current dollar value. You may benefit from financial planners and tax advisors who can determine which assets will be best for your short- and long-term financial security.
Prenuptial or postnuptial agreements may also affect property division.
How We Help
We have an astute understanding of the issues that arise in complicated cases and the negotiations necessary to resolve them. If you hire Bays Family Law, we will prepare a customized plan to distribute the property in your marital estate, including intangible assets, like business interests, pension benefits, stock options, and deferred compensation. We can help you locate experts to appraise real estate, business interests, pensions, and other valuable assets. If you and the other party know how you want your property divided, we can prepare the legal documents to make your agreement enforceable. If you cannot agree, we will passionately argue your case to the Court.