High Net Worth Divorce

Husbands and wives in Colorado who are contemplating or going through a dissolution of marriage | divorce case, and who have significant business, real estate, retirement and other assets and liabilities, absolutely need an experienced divorce attorney with a business focus, an attorney with significant backgrounds in business, accounting, tax, finance - investments, tracing, valuations, appraisals, investments and related issues, in addition to the law.

Over the years, the Law Offices of Paul M. Gaide has handled numerous dissolution cases with $1,000,000.00+ in dispute; each having had its own financial related nuances.

Under Colorado law, the Court is mandated to first determine each party’s “separate property,” and then divide the parties’ marital property in an “equitable” manner, which does not always mean “equal.” Once the property / debt division is made, the Court will then make a determination as to spousal maintenance or alimony. The Court has the power to adjust the equitable allocation of assets and liabilities to reduce a spousal maintenance award, either as to amount, and/or duration.

Ignorance of business issues can result in unreasonable expectations, roadblocks to negotiations, or one party receiving a less than appropriate allocation of property. A simple example:

Husband and Wife have the following assets / liabilities:

Marital Residence$ 950,000.00
Mortgage Debt- $ 250,000.00
Net Marital Residence$ 700,000.00
 
Cash / Checking / Savings$ 100,000.00
Marketable Securities$ 490,000.00
Husband’s SEP$ 800,000.00
Wife’s 401(k)$ 200,000.00
Husband’s Business$ 600,000.00
Credit Card Debt- $ 30,000.00
Net Marital Property$2,860,000.00

Ignoring spousal maintenance, would it be equitable for Husband to be allocated his SEP, $30,000.00 in Cash, and the Business for a total of $1,430,000.00, and Wife be allocated the balance of the assets / liabilities for a total of $1,430,000.00? Maybe; maybe not.

Hopefully your counsel will have considered, among other things, the age and health of the parties, the income of each party, whether Wife has sufficient income or assets to remove Husband from the debt and assume payment thereof (assuming it is in Husband’s name), the tax basis of each of the assets (tax basis will generally carry-over to the receiving party), the present value of the SEP and the 401(k), tax penalties for and consequences of liquidation / sale of assets, tax exemptions, whether there are any tax loss carry-forwards which can be allocated, whether the assets have been appropriately valued or appraised, can the business be sold, housing for Husband, liquidity issues and the costs of liquidating other assets, what is the impact of the allocation on retirement, how will a party’s social security be impacted, should there be a different allocation to accomplish a reduction in spousal maintenance, will the Court approve the allocation as being fair and equitable, etc.

The Law Offices of Paul M. Gaide routinely works with clients on these and related issues in dissolution of marriage cases.

PLEASE CONSIDER OUR “RECENT SUCCESSES” TAB FOR A DESCRIPTION OF THE TYPES OF CASES WE HAVE RECENTLY BEEN INVOVLED IN.