Asset Determination & Evaluation in Divorce

by Feb 20, 2017Uncategorized0 comments

Asset determination and evaluation play and integral role in divorce proceedings for those considered to be of high net worth.  You can be considered a high net worth individual if you are a celebrity, a billionaire, or just a successful local business owner .

However, we should admit that there is a certain fascination in the world when it comes to high net worth divorces. Tabloid journalists, morning news shows and of course magazine publications are just a few who stand to benefit from the misfortune of a high profile and complex divorce. The amount of wealth within a relationship, as you can imagine, complicates legal proceedings making the whole process longer and more contentious.  These cases are drawn out as it is being determined which assets, such as investments, real estate, and intellectual properties are separate or deemed to be jointly owned.

From Brangelina to Johnny Depp and Amber Heard, we have seen our fair share of celebrity high profile divorces over the last couple of years. Steven Spielberg, in one of the most expensive divorces of all time, settled a divorce with a $100 million price tag. Angelina Jolie is currently citing irreconcilable differences and is challenging for full custody of the six kids she shared with Brad Pitt. It is sure to be a lengthy and complicated divorce.

These are examples of celebrity divorces played out in the media, but what if it was a successful and reputable business owner? Take Elon Musk for example. Musk, co-founder of PayPal and CEO of Tesla actually married actress Talulah Riley twice. The first time Riley settled out of court to the tune of $16 million, by the time they were re-married and then divorced (again) Musk was reportedly worth $11 billion.

In this situation, all of the money that was made during the time of the second marriage would have to be considered marital property subject to division. As you can imagine this can have a huge affect on the companies he owns as his stake could be seriously affected. Therefore  meaning that decision making, influence and control can all be taken away. Fortunately for Musk, it is believed that a prenuptial agreement had taken place and therefore Riley would have been entitled to a share of the marital estate reaching into the billions.

These cases are obviously in the extreme, however if you are a business owner, no matter how big or small it is important to be prepared if you are facing a divorce.  Real Estate Owners, and those who are inheriting a substantial amount from relatives should also seek specialized attention if they are considering divorce.  Where companies are involved, children and/or substantial assets are at stake your attorney needs to be experienced and well versed in your options and how to protect what you have worked so hard to build.

If you are looking for more information or are considering a divorce yourself we invite you to fill our free consultation page on our website or give us a call.