Couples with substantial assets often face unique complications when they decide to divorce. Even if the decision is amicable, it’s important to have experienced legal representation. After all, choices made during the divorce process in Douglasville, GA, can impact you for years to come.
At Bardley McKnight Law, our Douglasville high-net-worth divorce attorneys often work with divorcing clients who have accumulated significant wealth. We have over 40 years of combined experience helping our clients develop favorable solutions to complex problems.
Property division can be contentious and difficult. If you are going through a divorce and are concerned about protecting your assets, contact our law offices in Douglasville, Georgia today at (470) 308-5409 to learn more about how an experienced lawyer can help.
How Bardley McKnight Law Can Help With My High-Net-Worth Divorce in Douglasville, GA
Filing for divorce is always a difficult decision, even if you know it’s what’s best for your family. Families with significant wealth often have more complicated finances. Determining how to fairly divide those assets can have a meaningful impact on your future.
The experience and skill of your divorce lawyer can make a world of difference. At Bardley McKnight Law, we have decades of total experience fighting to protect what our clients value most: their children and hard-earned assets. We’re well-prepared to fight for you.
Our Douglasville family lawyers can help by:
- Assessing the value of complex assets
- Bringing in experts in various specialties
- Tracing separate and marital property under Georgia’s property division laws
- Locating evidence to determine child custody, child support, and spousal support
- Facilitating mediation to resolve contested issues
- Representing you at trial, all hearings, and negotiation sessions
- Fiercely negotiating on your behalf
High-net-worth divorces can take time. Our experienced Douglasville divorce attorneys will stand by your side every step of the way. To discuss your case, call our legal team to arrange a confidential initial consultation today.
High-Net-Worth Divorce in Georgia: An Overview
As in any divorce, divorcing spouses who are wealthy will have to resolve several key issues, including:
- Division of marital property
- Spousal support
- Child support and child custody if children are involved
While it may seem that all uncontested divorces are the same, when more assets are involved, the process is likely to become more complex. That’s generally because couples with significant wealth often have many different classes of property.
Determining how to equitably divide assets such as investment properties, business interests, stock options, and even expensive jewelry collections can be difficult. It’s extremely important to have an experienced attorney by your side to protect your long-term interests.
Who Will Pay My Attorney’s Fees if I Never Worked During the Marriage?
When one spouse has stayed at home to manage the household and family matters during the marriage, the non-working spouse may wonder how they can afford to hire a divorce attorney.
Under Georgia law, judges have the authority to award attorney’s fees to either party. The judge will consider the financial circumstances of each spouse and the lower-earning spouse’s needs.
If one spouse has the ability to pay for the other spouse’s attorney’s fees, the judge has the discretion to award them. That said, there is no guarantee that the judge will decide to award attorneys’ fees to one spouse.
As your case progresses, our lawyers will seek attorney’s fees when necessary. We can seek attorneys’ fees both at the outset and as your case progresses.
Who Will Pay My Mortgage if My Spouse Was the Sole Income-Producer During the Marriage?
After two spouses separate, the person who was responsible for making payments prior to separation is required to continue making those payments. That includes mortgage payments, car payments, and other living costs.
Essentially, the judge can take steps to ensure that the status quo is maintained while two spouses are separated but not yet divorced.
In the end, the issue of how to divide the marital home will be decided before the divorce is finalized. The spouses may sell the home, decide that one spouse will remain in the home for a set period of time, or decide that one spouse will keep the house outright.
Am I Required To Continue Living With My Spouse Until the Divorce Is Finalized?
Except in cases where domestic violence is an issue, the family court will not typically give one spouse exclusive control over the marital residence. That can create a difficult decision when two spouses are in conflict.
In high-net-worth cases, at least one spouse will have the resources to move out of the marital home. When two parties have multiple residences, one spouse may decide to move into a second home. The alternative is for one spouse to rent a residence until the divorce is finalized.
When both spouses decide to remain in the home, it’s often because of an emotional attachment to the home or out of maliciousness.
How Will I Maintain My Standard of Living Once the Divorce Is Finalized?
When two spouses are in unequal financial positions, one spouse may be awarded alimony. In Georgia, alimony can be temporary or permanent. Often, judges will grant temporary alimony while the divorce proceedings are pending so that each spouse can maintain their standard of living. A permanent arrangement will be included in the final divorce settlement.
There are many different factors that courts will consider when awarding alimony, including:
- The standard of living established during the marriage
- The length of the marriage
- Each party’s financial resources
- The age and physical and emotional condition of each spouse
- Each party’s contributions to the marriage, including household contributions
- Each party’s earning capacity and fixed expenses
While the divorce is pending, the judge can award alimony to maintain the status quo. Your standard of living immediately prior to the divorce is the key factor that will be considered.
There is no limit to the amount of spousal support you may receive in a divorce settlement. In high-net-worth cases where one spouse has been the sole breadwinner, alimony awards are often higher. That can give each spouse an incentive to fight aggressively to protect their interests.
Our lawyers in Douglasville will carefully evaluate your case and do everything possible to reach a favorable outcome.
Will I Be Able To Save Money Once My Divorce Is Finalized?
Not all high-net-worth individuals choose to live a lavish lifestyle. It’s entirely possible that you maintained a modest standard of living while opting to invest and save for the future.
Your spousal support award should take your prior savings into consideration. It’s important to discuss this issue with your attorney. Our lawyers will work to ensure that the amount of money your family was saving prior to the divorce is taken into account in your final divorce settlement agreement.
My Spouse Owns Multiple Businesses and Properties: How Can I Get My Fair Share?
Dividing assets in high-net-worth cases is one of the most complicated areas. Although neither spouse can legally transfer assets once the petition for divorce is filed, spouses may try to transfer or conceal assets when a divorce is contested. Dividing a business asset can also be difficult because of the value of keeping the business intact.
Our lawyers often bring in experts in various fields when making a case for equitable property division.
In high-net-worth cases, for example, we may work with:
- Forensic accountants
- Real estate brokers
- Tax experts
- Other financial professionals.
Expert testimony can be crucial to determining the fair value of your spouse’s assets–and making sure that your marital assets are fairly divided.
These types of professionals can offer insight into the business’s cash flow and operations, which, of course, can influence the business owner’s ability to pay spousal support. They can also provide insight into the complex tax implications involved in dividing businesses, investments, and certain types of retirement accounts.
Do I Have Any Right to the Businesses My Spouse Owned Prior to Marriage?
Property owned prior to the marriage is considered separate property. The spouse who owned the property before the marriage typically keeps that property in a divorce.
That said, Georgia is an equitable distribution state. Each party is entitled to a fair portion of the couple’s assets. It’s important to remember that businesses owned prior to the marriage may have increased in value during the marriage. The spouse who owned the business may have been able to focus on increasing the business’ success while the other spouse handled household and childcare matters.
Our lawyers will bring in experts who can testify about these matters. Contact our family and divorce law firm today to learn more about your legal options.
Contact an Experienced Douglasville High-Net Worth Divorce Attorney for a Consultation Today
If you are considering divorce and have significant assets, it’s important to consult an attorney. At Bardley McKnight Law, our experienced mediators have the experience and resources to handle even the most complex divorce cases. Contact us today to learn more about how a Douglasville high-net-worth divorce attorney can help you navigate this difficult time.