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High-asset divorce: not always just a matter of degree

Just as there is typically some commonality featuring among divorces, there are just as assuredly marked differences owing to the organic and unique nature of every relationship.

One common misconception held by many people in Massachusetts and elsewhere is that, while truly high-asset divorces obviously involve comparatively enhanced wealth levels, there is actually not much that is different about a decoupling where significant assets are in play. That is, material matters that emerge are also at issue in less well-heeled dissolutions, with contrasts being mostly a matter of degree.

Although that is sometimes true to an extent, it is far more often the case that the “things to think about” tangent of a high-asset divorce differs in many respects from dissolutions where a lower level of wealth is on display.

That is noted quite clearly in a recent national article featuring a panel of inside divorce commentators who routinely focus on so-called “executive divorces.” Those individuals note that, in addition to the stakes being higher with such decouplings, they are also qualitatively different.

We certainly know that to be true at the Wellesley Law Offices of Lisa A. Ruggieri, P.C., where for a number of years we have provided focused, knowledgeable and on-point divorce counsel to diverse clientele involved in divorces featuring significant assets.

As we have noted for readers across Massachusetts in prior select blog posts, and as the above-cited commentators reiterate, family-owned businesses are often centrally important in high-asset divorces. So, too, are wealth sources that are customarily both wider in scope and more complex that is the case with many lesser-value dissolutions. Those sources often include things like special compensation packages, stock options, vesting rights, myriad retirement account vehicles, bonuses and buyouts.

A proven divorce attorney who routinely works with highly compensated clients is well attuned to special considerations that need to be timely and smartly acted upon.

Often, for example, experienced legal counsel will seek to work closely with other professionals — such as accountants and business valuation experts — to better ensure seamless and optimally effective client representation.

And high-asset divorce attorneys also routinely ensure that the diverse sources of property are properly identified, valued and distributed. They understand the implications that might arise from currently existing documents and arrangements, as well as the need in some instances to further execute legal understandings applicable to the future.

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