What Factors Are Considered When Determining Child Custody In A High Asset Divorce?
A lot of times, the parties in a high income case have more to spend. Custody issues are extremely expensive issues to go through. One may need to pay for a forensic psychological evaluation or even a second opinion of that evaluation, plus pay the attorneys to do a contested child custody case. It’s not unheard of for cases like that to cost $200,000 or more. For some people who make a really high amount of income and have many millions of dollars in assets, that amount is not going to faze them. One needs to negotiate and consider other factors, in terms of the likelihood of success and what going through a custody case will do to the kids.
How Can Clients Who Are Very Involved In Their Work Protect Their Custody Rights?
If someone is travelling a lot or doesn’t have the time to go through a contested custody case, then one really needs to discuss with his/her attorney whether it makes sense to go through that contested custody case. Availability to the child is a factor that the judge can consider against them. If one parent has more availability, that parent is much more likely to be awarded custody. If there is a high disparity of income, you may not only be paying for your lawyer, you may be spending money on your spouse’s lawyer as well. Those are all things to throw into the consideration bucket.
How Do We Narrow Issues For Litigation Or Trial In A High Income Divorce Case?
One really needs to zero in on which issues are in contention and which issues are not. That said, I am wary of resolving only certain issues and leaving other issues open. For instance, settling the custody and visitation issues before one settles the financial issues, especially payment of maintenance and child support.
In some cases, wanting to give up one’s ability to sue for custody of one’s children is predicated upon the amount of support that they may have to pay. As such, knowing what they need to pay may factor into whether they would want to settle on custody. Leaving the support amount as an open issue while resolving custody and visitation oftentimes takes that out of the mix. In such instance, they’ll be giving up something that may potentially be used as leverage and vice versa.
As a further example, if the mother resolves the child support and maintenance issue while leaving the custody issue open, she may have compromised on the amount of support and settle for a lower amount than one would otherwise agree to (if one prevailed at a custody trial and got sole custody). As a result, in many cases global settlements work better for both parties.
What Are Some Alternative Measures We Can Take Instead Of Taking Our High Asset Divorce To Trial?
Two of the most common methods are mediation or simply negotiating a settlement. You certainly don’t have to take any case to trial. About 90-95% of cases settle. There is a variety of ways to negotiate a settlement, which would include four-way conferences, mediation, and consulting various experts such as forensic accountants or family counselors.
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