Involved in a High-Net Worth Divorce in Westchester County?
Our Westchester County Divorce Lawyers Can Protect Your Financial Future
In a New York State divorce action, there are multiple options to consider and decisions that need to be made that will profoundly affect your financial future. Our family attorneys can help protect your rights and pursue a positive outcome.
Our Westchester County divorce lawyers will:
- Counsel you
- Provide you with legal advice
- Make recommendations
- Aggressively pursue your goals
The firm's goal will be to achieve the best possible outcome. We are highly experienced family lawyers in New York State and regularly practice in Westchester County and the surrounding counties. We have offices located in downtown White Plains, New York and Peekskill, New York for client convenience.
Our law firm has the tools necessary to aggressively negotiate and, if necessary, litigate your divorce matter. Every divorce is a stressful process and that is why our divorce lawyers do everything possible to keep you informed at all times regarding your case and we will actively keep you involved during the entire divorce process. Your calls will be returned, your voice will be heard and we will protect your rights including your financial future so you can put the divorce behind you to move on with your life in as best a financial position as possible.
Equitable Distribution in New York
New York State is an equitable distribution state in that assets and debts are not necessarily divided 50/50, but courts will seek to divide assets and debts in a fair manner. New York does consider pre-marital and separate marital property including prenuptial agreements all of which must be taken into consideration when a marriage dissolves. The first step is for you and our law firm to have a clear understanding of your assets, debts and the value of property to accurately determine your net worth.
When you first retain our office, we give you a list of documents needed to develop a legal strategy. Our divorce attorneys need to know information concerning bank accounts, stocks, bonds, antiques, collectables, vehicles, boats, jewelry, inheritances, retirement plans, licenses earned during the marriage, real property, businesses owned and any assets sold or transferred. Our divorce lawyers then make a clear determination between separate property and marital property.
The Non-Negotiable Items
Once we review your assets, we ask if there are any items that are non-negotiable (either due to their monitory value or sentimental value). Many clients have approached us with special pieces of jewelry, automobiles, art work, rare books, furniture, pets or even photographs. Our divorce lawyers will then identify negotiable items that can easily be replaced and use those items as bargaining tools during our settlement negotiations for what assets or personal items are really important to you.
Large Assets or Businesses
When either spouse owns a business or a large asset, those items might have to be valuated. First, we will ask you to put a valuation on any business or large asset and determine if your spouse agrees or is close to the valuation. Sometimes it becomes necessary to hire a professional evaluator (expert) to determine the value of a business or asset, as a professional evaluator always takes an objective independent valuation. The best example of an expert evaluation is an appraisal on a marital home.
A home appraisal is commonly done to determine the true market value of real property including a marital residence. Our lawyers have handled countless divorce actions and we legally strategize our high net worth divorces just as a business person might do when running a large company. We use highly respected and skilled experts when doing any evaluation to put you in the best possible position when proceeding with a divorce action.
The Marital Residence
As mentioned above, the marital residence is usually a valuable asset in your net worth. The marital residence is sometimes a contested matter in the divorce process. Our high-net worth divorce attorneys will help you successfully divide any real estate. We consider a number of factors, in addition to the normal appraisal, including the following: any child(ren) who wish to remain in the home, equity in the home, the ability of either spouse to refinance, the current real estate market, which spouse desires to stay in the home and how this could be used as leverage against other assets.
As part of our legal strategy, our Westchester County divorce lawyers discuss the division of the marital home very early in the divorce process. We want to be prepared and leave nothing to chance or guess work. Some initial decisions include the selection of a broker, selecting an appraiser, division of equity and contingency plans if the house does not sell must be addressed.
Every client's financial situation is different and our divorce lawyers sometimes need to come up with creative tactics to protect you financially. Over the past few years this has become increasingly necessary as the housing market went into a slump and has been slow to recover. Your case is not simply put into a formula or equation we actively strategize about unique and sometimes uncommon solutions to best meet all of your individual needs
In the high net worth divorce, there are usually large sums of money held in multiple retirement accounts. Our job as your divorce attorney is to identify the location and value of each account including any loans against those accounts. Retirement accounts commonly includes, 401K plans, pensions, annuities, stock options, deferred compensation, executive compensation packages, bonuses and other similar assets. These retirement accounts are very important as they represent our client's "nest egg" earned over the course of several years or even decades.
When discussing the division of retirement assets it is important to understand the qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). This is a system for distributing retirement assets into a separate retirement account usually based upon the date of the marriage and the date the divorce action was commended. Our goal is to protect your retirement assets. A QDRO is prepared after a divorce action is finished but negotiated before a settlement or is set forth by a judge after a trial. The QDRO will then set forth allocation of retirement benefits.
College Savings Plans
In many high net worth divorces, college savings plans are established for the child(ren) of the parties. Our divorce lawyers will discuss all options regarding any college savings plan.
Common issues as to a 529 plan or other college savings plan include:
- Is the account jointly held?
- Will separate college savings plans be established?
- How will child support change or alter the plan?
- Will contributions continue to the plan?
- Should the plan be disrupted at all?
These are some of the initial issues that need to be resolved. Depending on your goals and specific case facts we can provide advice and guidance on the college savings plan.
The Basics of Maintenance (Alimony) in New York State
As discussed on our divorce lawyer's maintenance webpage our divorce lawyers will, early on in the case, discuss and develop a legal strategy to argue for or against maintenance payments. There are two types of maintenance in New York State; pre-judgment of divorce (while the case is pending) and post judgment of divorce (after the case is over). Our firm will explain the difference and how we can protect your financial future.
Factors to consider include the following:
- Pre or post nuptial agreements
- The length of the marriage
- If a spouse has forfeited employment or school to raise children or support a spouses' career
- The income of the parties
- Child support
- Property division
Learn more about strategizing maintenance payments during your divorce case by contacting our Westchester County divorce lawyers.
Our Legal Team
At Proto, Sachs & Brown, LLP, we use our collective experience and knowledge to aggressively work for our clients. We understand the importance of your case and we will do everything possible to protect your financial future. We are available for a free initial consultation.
Feel free to contact us online or by calling us at (914) 840-5104.