With recent finalizing of the divorce of Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and his ex-wife Mackenzie, many are likely wondering what role wealth plays in a divorce settlement? While the family law courts in New Jersey strive for equality, when excess amounts of money are involved, there are unique concerns that the courts must address that you won’t find in your typical divorces. Here’s how wealth affects divorce.
How Does Wealth Affect Divorce?
One of the most significant ways in which wealth can affect divorce is through spousal support payments. Should both parties have substantial wealth on their own, alimony likely would not be an issue. If one spouse is heavily reliant on the other, however, a court may award alimony payments to help them adjust to life post-divorce.
In instances where spousal support may be due, high-net-worth divorces raise the possibility of one spouse concealing assets from their ex-spouse and the family law court. Spouses sometimes hide assets to protect their business or personal holdings and keep them away from their ex-spouse. If you suspect that your spouse is hiding accounts, property, or any other assets, it is critical to talk to a lawyer and hire a forensic accountant who may be able to find documentation proving the concealment.
In wealthy divorces, one of the most significant issues is the division of property. Courts in New Jersey divide the property into “marital property” and “separate property”. Marital property refers to all real estate a couple acquires during the marriage. Unless there is specific paperwork claiming the property as that of only one spouse, this is usually easily dividable. Separate property relates to all personal property one spouse acquires before marriage or as a gift or through inheritance during the marriage.
One of the ways that wealth can significantly affect a divorce is with regards to child support. When a parent earns more than $25,000 per month or $300,000 per year, family law courts generally tend to treat child support issues much differently than they would in cases involving significantly lower income levels. In wealthy divorces, the courts place much greater emphasis on the needs and best interests of the child, rather than looking at their food, housing, and education costs. Some of the things courts may consider include the need for a nanny, any expensive hobbies or sports the child may partake in, or the costs for private tuition.
Contact an Experienced Lawyer Today
Because of the complexities of issues such as division of assets and high-net-worth, if you are considering a divorce, you should speak with an experienced divorce attorney immediately.
Contact the Law Offices of James C. DeZao today for your free consultation. Our experienced family law attorneys are here to help you through this challenging time in your life and will fight to help you claim the money you deserve. Divorce is never easy, especially when money is involved. Fortunately, choosing the right family law attorney can be. Call DeZao Law today at (973) 358-6134.