Divorce Attorneys Serving High Income/High Net Worth Clients
As between divorcing spouses, financial issues are the only ones upon which our New Jersey courts will focus. Your emotional needs are not relevant to a judge. When one or both spouses have a high income and have a substantial net worth, the financial issues arising from a divorce are less likely to be completely resolved through alternative dispute resolution such as mediation. Thus, while we guide our clients through the settlement process that is favored by the Family Part of Superior Court, we are always prepared to skillfully and tenaciously litigate all outstanding issues.
Our attorneys have been involved in extremely sophisticated financial matters during the course of our over 60 years of combined legal experience. We are cognizant of the need to explore the tax consequences of all financial decisions made within the context of a divorce. Forensic accountants, financial advisors, tax attorneys and other experts are often employed to ensure that all financial issues are fully identified and thoroughly examined. Our goal is always to ensure that you receive your equitable share of the marital estate. Since New Jersey is an equitable distribution State and not a community property State, your equitable share may not be 50% of the value of the marital estate; it could be more or less.
Equitable Division of Large Estates
Large estates take significant time, hard work and prudent planning to build. It is necessary to first identify all assets acquired by the parties during the marriage as opposed to assets acquired by each party before the marriage. All assets acquired during the marriage, other than inheritances and gifts from third parties, have to be evaluated to determine their present value. High income individuals often have stock options and other deferred compensation that are in the marital estate. Many clients have disputes over the value of the property in the marital estate and often suspect hidden assets. Disputes over the validity of prenuptial agreements are also common, particularly when one spouse is much wealthier than the other.
The amount and duration of spousal support is governed by the guidelines set forth in the law as recently amended. N.J.S.A. 2A:34-23. The statute addresses the many factors that will determine if spousal support is warranted, and if so, the amount and duration. In high income/high net worth cases, the amount of equitable distribution a spouse receives is often a significant factor in determining the amount of spousal support, or whether it is necessary at all. We have the expertise and experience to advocate for you with regard to your rights and obligations.
High- income families are currently considered those families in which the combined after-tax earned and unearned incomes are in excess of $187,200.00. Child support for families earning that amount or less, is determined by the Child Support Guidelines that calculates through a computer program the amount of weekly child support. Calculating support for the children of wealthier parents is far more complex. Although our statutes and case law provide factors for determining the amount of child support that the children require beyond the Child Support Guidelines, our experienced advocacy and attention to detail are essential to either compel a reasonable settlement or to successfully present your case to a judge.
Divorce and Family
All divorces affects more than just the couple; it can also negatively affect their children. This is not in anyone’s long-term best interest. At Cowen & Jacobs, while our primary concern is representing your interests and helping you to move forward with your life as financially sound as possible, we also try to mitigate the stress on your children. Both goals are achievable through our experience, expertise and hard work. At the same time we will try to ease your anxiety by keeping you informed of the progress of your case and by providing swift access to us during both business and after-business hours via telephone, e-mail and text messages.