Experienced Suffolk County Attorneys for High Net Worth Divorces

Our mission is to provide our High Net Worth divorce clients with exceptional legal counsel from before commencement to post-judgment litigation and we are proud to be recognized as a top Suffolk County high net worth divorce attorney in New York.

High Asset Divorce Long Island

Our team understands the unique challenges that high-net-worth individuals face during a divorce. We are experienced in providing exceptional legal guidance to our clients, from the initial stages of the case to post-judgment litigation. Being recognized as a top Suffolk County high net worth divorce attorney in New York is a testament to our dedication and expertise. We recognize that the process of litigating a divorce can be especially traumatic for high earners who have worked hard to build their wealth. Similarly, we understand the concerns of their spouses who may fear a significant change in their standard of living. We’re here as your high asset divorce long island attorneys.

What is a High Net Worth Divorce in New York?

A High Net Worth Divorce, also known as a high-value divorce, is a divorce involving individuals or couples with significant financial resources. These divorces typically involve assets worth several million dollars or more. In New York, there is no specific legal definition for a High Net Worth Divorce, but it generally refers to cases where one or both parties are high earners or possess substantial assets. Hiring a skilled Suffolk County high net-worth divorce lawyer is advisable in such situations.

Unique Aspects of Suffolk County High Net Worth Divorces

Equitable Distribution in New York High Asset Divorce

A high-asset divorce in New York differs from a typical divorce primarily due to the complex financial considerations involved. High net worth divorces involve couples with significant wealth, which can include substantial real estate holdings, business interests, investments, retirement accounts, and other valuable assets. Here are some key factors that make a property division in a high-asset divorce different in New York:

  1. Valuation of Assets: One of the primary challenges in a high-asset divorce is accurately valuing the various assets. This can be particularly complex when dealing with businesses, intellectual property, art collections, real estate, and other non-liquid assets. Accurate valuation is crucial to ensure a fair distribution of assets.
  2. Property Division: New York is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided fairly but not necessarily equally. In high-asset divorces, determining what constitutes marital property and how it should be divided can be highly contentious, especially when there are substantial assets involved.
  3. Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements: Many high-net-worth couples have prenuptial or postnuptial agreements in place. These agreements can impact property division and spousal support, so their validity and terms become important aspects of the divorce process.
  4. Asset Protection: High-asset divorces may involve spouses who have taken steps to protect their assets through trusts, offshore accounts, or other means. Ensuring that all assets are disclosed and properly accounted for can be challenging.
  5. Forensic Accounting: In high-asset divorces, forensic accountants may be employed to trace and verify the accuracy of financial information. They can help uncover hidden assets, income, or discrepancies in financial disclosures.
  6. Business Interests: If one or both spouses have ownership interests in businesses, the valuation and division of these assets can be particularly complex. Business appraisers and experts may be needed to determine the value and the impact on the divorce settlement.
  7. Privacy Concerns: High-profile individuals or those with substantial assets may have privacy concerns during the divorce process. They may seek to keep financial and personal matters confidential, which can add complexity to the proceedings.

Given the complexities involved in high-asset divorces in Suffolk County, individuals in such situations need to consult with an experienced Suffolk County high net-worth divorce attorney, financial advisors, and, when necessary, forensic experts. These professionals can help navigate the legal, financial, and tax intricacies to achieve a fair and equitable resolution of the divorce while protecting their clients’ interests. We proudly serve as high asset divorce lawyers on Long Island to assist with these matters.

Child Support and Spousal Support in New York High Income Divorce

In a New York divorcechild support and maintenance awards are calculated, at least preemptively, based on various formulas outlined in the Domestic Relations Law. In high-earner divorces, the courts have tremendous discretion in the amount of support to be awarded. To that end, New York is a tremendously diverse state economically. Not surprisingly, the economic disparities of each region manifest themselves in high net-worth divorce litigation. In upstate counties or regions with a lesser cost of living, the divorce courts are usually less generous with child support and alimony (maintenance) awards. Similarly, a lesser-earning spouse may receive a potentially reduced equitable distribution award or counsel fees when litigating a case upstate. Conversely, High Net Worth divorces in New York City and Long Island generally yield higher child support and maintenance packages, as well as greater equitable distribution awards and counsel fees.

A well-versed Suffolk County high-net-worth divorce attorney experienced in high-income cases can demonstrate to the court the proper amount of income to be utilized for support calculations and the appropriate amount of support to be awarded in light of various factors. Selecting the right Suffolk County high income divorce attorney is the first step in preserving your financial wellbeing.

Common Issues and Mistakes in Suffolk County High Net Worth Divorces

Common assets litigated and distributed in High Asset Divorces in Suffolk County include:

  • Retirement accounts such as 401k plans, pensions, and IRAs
  • Employment benefits such as stock options
  • Professional practices (including medical offices and law firms)
  • Closely-held / family-owned businesses
  • Real estate including vacation homes, condominiums, coops, and rental properties
  • Financial assets such including, stocks, stock options, bonds
  • Bank accounts (including bank accounts in Switzerland, and the Cayman Islands)
  • Antiques
  • Cars, boats, and other vehicles
  • Jewelry
  • Wrist Watches (including such brands as Audemars Piguet, Rolex, Patek Philippe, Cartier, Vacheron
  • Constantin, Omega, Tag, Heuer, Blancpain, Jaeger-LeCoultre, Breitling)
  • Art
  • Coins
  • Stamps
  • Private jets
  • Cryptocurrency including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, etc.
  • Fine wines

Our team is committed to protecting your financial interests at every stage of separation and divorce. We scrutinize every detail of your financial life, including each asset, so that we may tailor the strategy perfect for your unique situation and secure the most favorable resolution of your case.

Litigants frequently want to resolve cases as quickly as possible to avoid further stress, frustration, and expense. The desire to finalize a settlement quickly is understandable but, it may be a mistake. Common mistakes in High Asset Divorces include:

  • Failure to ensure the opposing party disclosed all assets
  • Not seeking an appraisal of high-value assets
  • Failing to consider tax consequences. By way of example, the taxes associated with various retirement accounts are likely far greater than any taxes that may be associated with a traditional savings account
  • Letting emotions control.
  • Hiring the wrong High Net Worth Divorce lawyer

Schedule Your Consultation Today with a High Asset Long Island Divorce Lawyer

Facing a High Net Worth Divorce in Suffolk County? The Suffolk County divorce attorneys of the Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg are experts. Our Suffolk County high income divorce attorneys are here to help.

Call us at 631-600-3295.

Even the most experienced Suffolk County high net-worth divorce attorney cannot address all of the ancillary components of a high-net-worth divorce. When appropriate, we bring in experts to assist in the case including:

  • Financial planners
  • Forensic accountants
  • Real estate brokers
  • Business valuation experts
  • Antiques dealers and appraisers
  • Art appraisers and dealers
  • Jewelers
  • Estate planners
  • Vocational experts and career counselors

How to Protect Property in a High Net-Worth Divorce in New York?

One of the most crucial aspects of a New York High Net Worth divorce is the classification of property as either marital property or separate property.  The concept of separate property is crucial in determining how assets and property are divided between the spouses. New York is an equitable distribution state, which means that marital property is divided in a way that is fair and equitable, but not necessarily equal. Separate property is generally not subject to division in a divorce.  We pride ourselves in our thorough approach in addressing separate vs marital property, as we as our experience in the following key issues:

  1. Definition of Separate Property: Separate property typically includes assets that were acquired by either spouse before the marriage, as well as certain assets acquired during the marriage through gifts, inheritances, or as the result of a personal injury lawsuit award. It is important to maintain documentation and evidence to prove that an asset is separate property.
  2. Commingling of Assets: It’s possible for separate property to become marital property if it’s commingled with marital assets. For example, if one spouse inherits money and deposits it into a joint bank account with the other spouse, it can be challenging to trace and prove that the money is still separate property.
  3. Appreciation of Separate Property: Any increase in value of separate property during the marriage may be subject to equitable distribution. For instance, if one spouse owns a business before marriage and the business’s value increases during the marriage, the increase in value may be considered marital property.
  4. Prenuptial and Postnuptial Agreements: Many high net worth individuals and couples create prenuptial or postnuptial agreements that specify how assets will be divided in the event of divorce. These agreements can help protect separate property and provide clarity on property division.
  5. Professional Assistance: High net worth divorces can be complex, involving various types of assets such as investments, real estate, businesses, and more. It’s advisable to consult with legal and financial professionals experienced in high-net-worth divorces to ensure that your interests are properly protected.
  6. Equitable Distribution: While separate property is generally not divided, marital property is subject to equitable distribution, which means that the court will consider various factors to determine a fair and equitable division of assets. These factors may include the length of the marriage, each spouse’s financial contributions, and their respective financial needs.
  7. Tax Implications: It’s essential to consider the tax implications of asset division in a high net-worth divorce. Certain assets may have tax consequences when transferred, and a financial advisor or tax expert can help plan for these issues.

Get Help From a Suffolk County High Net-Worth Divorce Attorney

At The Law Office of Louis L. Sternberg, PC, our Suffolk County High Net Worth Divorce Lawyers understand the planning, and strategy attendant to a High Asset divorce. We understand that valuable assets are at stake and may be lost during lengthy matrimonial litigation, especially through needless and irresponsible legal counsel and tactics. We spend the time to handle your case appropriately, with the specialized personal attention required to maximize your results and protect your assets. For those reasons, we have been recognized as the best divorce Suffolk County high net-worth divorce attorneys.