Idaho High Asset Divorce Attorney
What is a High Asset Divorce and How Can a Coeur d’Alene High Asset Divorce Attorney Help?
A high asset divorce is one in which the couple’s assets have a high monetary value. While this number is not set in stone, a high net worth divorce generally involves more than $1 million in liquid assets. High asset divorces in Idaho will follow the same legal principles and proceedings as lower asset divorces, however, the process is usually much more complicated. With an office located in Coeur d’Alene, our firm serves all of Kootenai County. It is imperative that you have a Coeur d’Alene high asset divorce attorney to deal with these complexities.
High asset couples tend to have multiple forms of assets which may include business shares, overseas assets, extensive property, expensive collections, and more. According to CNBC, couples with high assets are more likely to divorce in certain instances, primarily when one spouse is the high-income earner and the other spouse does not work, creating an underlying economic disparity.
30 YEARS OF FIRM EXPERIENCE
FULL-SERVICE FAMILY LAW FIRM
Because there is so much on the line in a Coeur d’Alene high asset divorce, it is particularly beneficial to hire the highly experienced Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys. We have more than 30 years of firm experience as an exclusive family law practice. We are a client-centric service—our clients always come first in every decision we make.
At Erickson Crouse, we are proud to provide compassionate, attentive, diligent, personalized client service. Our attorneys are among the most experienced divorce litigators in the area. Our goal is to always deliver highly successful legal results, whether your divorce is a high asset, contested, straightforward, or extremely complex.
Is Idaho a Community Property or Equitable Division State?
Every state in the U.S. follows the principles of equitable distribution for divorces except for nine states, including Idaho, that are community property states. Equitable distribution means a couple’s assets are divided fairly, though not necessarily equally. Community property seeks to divide assets right down the middle, regardless of whether that division is entirely fair. Community property states assume that all property is owned jointly and equally by both spouses. Separate property is excluded from community property division and includes:
- Property owned by either spouse prior to the marriage
- Any property received separately as a gift or inheritance, even after marriage
- Property bought by either spouse using separate property funds
- Money earned by either spouse while living in a separate property state
- Any property listed as separate via a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement
An important fact to remember is in order to be considered separate property, it must be kept separate from marital assets during the marriage. If the separate property is used for community purposes or separate income and expenses are commingled with community income and expenses, it may become community property. There are particular implications for a high asset divorce in a community property state like Idaho.
Does It Matter as Far as Assets Are Concerned Whether I File for a No-Fault Divorce?
Like most states, Idaho offers a no-fault divorce, meaning the couple simply claims irreconcilable differences rather than specifying fault. Couples can also show the court they have lived separately and apart with no cohabitation for at least five years. In the state of Idaho fault can also be claimed, but those claims must be backed up with proof. A fault-based divorce could potentially impact child custody or alimony but is unlikely to affect asset division unless one spouse can show clear proof of dissipation of marital assets.
Allowable “faults” include: adultery, extreme cruelty, willful desertion for at least one year, habitual drunkenness or drug addiction lasting at least one year, a felony conviction, willful neglect of a husband to provide for his wife for no less than one year, a finding that one spouse is permanently insane and has been in a mental institution for at least three years prior to filing for divorce.
What are the Differences Between a High Asset Divorce and a “Normal” Divorce?
A high asset divorce will almost certainly take more time than a divorce where fewer assets are involved. Those involved in a high-net-worth divorce must be aware of the timeframe and prepared for it; many spouses involved in a high-net-worth divorce may grow tired of the process, halting negotiations in hopes of settling sooner.
This is almost always a mistake, as it can rob you of assets you are rightfully entitled to. A high asset divorce will also be more costly than a lower asset divorce. The complexities that accompany a high asset divorce can require multiple professionals, like a forensic accountant. Most importantly, your divorce attorney must have extensive experience in high asset divorces to ensure the divorce goes as smoothly as possible.
Which Assets are Protected During a High Asset Divorce in Idaho?
Because Idaho is a community property state, the only assets that are protected during a high asset divorce in Idaho are separate properties. If one or both spouses had assets prior to the marriage and those assets were not commingled with marital assets, then they will be allowed to keep the assets. Any assets that are specifically addressed in a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement are exempt from Idaho’s community property laws.
If either spouse was given a gift or inheritance before or during the marriage—and that gift or inheritance was not commingled with marital property—then the gift or inheritance remains separate property. In a high asset divorce, the distinction between marital property and separate property may become much more important than for those going through a lower net worth divorce. Having a knowledgeable Coeur d’Alene high asset attorney from Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys by your side can make the division of assets much less stressful.
How Do I Determine the Value of Assets in a High Net Worth Divorce?
For particularly complex asset valuation, your high asset divorce attorney will likely recommend having assets thoroughly appraised. If your divorce is fairly amicable, you may choose to discuss division of assets with your spouse. You may choose to divide things more or less equally, according to estimated values and emotional sentimentality. If this is not an option—and often, it is not—then you will want to have all real estate appraised, and all high-value assets like vehicles, jewelry, and artwork appraised. Bank accounts and stocks and bonds can be valued, however, if you share unvested stocks a financial adviser might be necessary to determine accurate values. Debt must also be tallied up, including amounts owed on loans, mortgages, and credit cards. Businesses must be valued, using a forensic accountant to evaluate assets and debts associated with the business, as well as profitability.
How Do I Know If My Spouse is Hiding Assets?
All too often, divorce brings out the worst in people. Some spouses, particularly those involved in a high asset divorce, may attempt to hide assets. How will you know if your spouse is hiding assets? Take a look at some of the most common warning signs:
- If there has been a change in the regular delivery of bank statements and other financial statements, you should find out why. Contact your bank, credit card companies, mortgage company, etc. to determine why the statements are being diverted. You will need all these documents, as well as tax returns, pension/401K/IRA statements, and other financial documents so you will be alert to anything out of the ordinary.
- Check for intentional overpayments to the IRS or other creditors. Some spouses will make these overpayments knowing they will receive a refund of the overpayment after the divorce is final. Others may fabricate loans from family members, allowing them to lower their financial assets so they will have less to split. After the divorce, the money will be returned to the spouse.
- If you notice your spouse’s salary has noticeably decreased, he or she may have deferred salary, or put commissions and bonuses on hold for future distribution (after the divorce).
- If your spouse is suddenly acting defensive regarding financial issues, pay attention to your gut feeling. A spouse that suddenly becomes secretive, defensive, or overly controlling about money could be dissipating or diverting marital assets.
- If you and your spouse have always shared control of the finances then he or she suddenly takes complete control or changes passwords to prevent you from seeing the accounts, you should definitely take notice and do some checking on your own.
- If you notice large withdrawals from your joint bank accounts, your spouse may be transferring money to “secret” bank accounts so the money will not be subject to being split during the divorce.
How do you locate hidden assets? You will definitely need the assistance of an experienced Coeur d’Alene high asset divorce attorney (and perhaps additional professionals) to locate the assets. Your attorney may analyze your tax returns, review bank accounts and personal loan and credit card statements, examine loan applications that disclose income or assets you were unaware of, review your spouse’s business records, and search public records for purchases of real estate, boats, RVs, and vehicles.
How Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys Can Help with Your High Asset Divorce?
If you are facing a high asset divorce, a Coeur d’Alene high asset divorce attorney from Crouse Erickson Family Law Attorneys is ready and able to help you through this difficult time. With an office located in Coeur d’Alene, our firm serves all of Kootenai County. We know that once you decide to divorce, you need help right now before your spouse can potentially manipulate assets. We fully understand that divorce is a stressful situation and can come with countless challenges.
Our highly experienced legal team knows how to navigate these situations. We have compassion for your situation and will use every shred of experience, knowledge, and skills to ensure your divorce goes as smoothly as possible—and that you receive the settlement you are entitled to. Contact Erickson Crouse Family Law Attorneys today for assistance with your high asset divorce—or any other family law issue.