There is, unfortunately, rarely such a thing as a simple divorce. Even the most straightforward dissolutions can present complex issues of New York family law, as well as difficult and contentious disputes over property division.
In a high asset divorce, these problems are often magnified. When more is at stake, people tend to fight more aggressively. One of the key priorities, in any divorce involving parties with substantial assets, is getting both parties to put emotions aside and treat the dissolution process, to the extent possible, as a business transaction.
If the parties have a prenuptial agreement, the property division process can often be greatly simplified. In many cases, however, a spouse may have grounds to challenge a prenuptial agreement, particularly if it was signed under duress or if the other spouse failed to make a full disclosure of their assets.
Splitting 401(k) and other retirement plans is a potential trap for the unwary. These plans are designed to take advantage of tax laws; taxes are typically deferred until the account owner withdraws funds from the account. When these plans are divided in a divorce action, it is critical to do so in a way that preserves the tax-deferred status of the account.
The skill and experience of one's attorney can be a significant factor in getting a fair result in a divorce property settlement. An attorney who is well-versed in complex asset valuation, including the valuation of business assets, can help ensure the client gets what they are entitled to under the law.