What Impact Do Assets Have When Hiring An Attorney In A High Net Worth Divorce?
For starters, if you don’t have substantial income (well over $100,000) or assets (over $1 million), then you may not be considered a high net worth case. Regarding the assets, you also want to look at whether they are simple or complicated. A typical family may own a house, have retirement assets, have particular investment vehicles, and if it’s not all that complicated then perhaps an average divorce attorney could handle the case. That said, the more complicated the investments or retirement, then an attorney who is particularly skilled in those issues will most likely need to be hired (especially if somebody owns a business or professional practice).
A client should interview their potential attorneys along the lines of how many high net worth divorces they have done. Do they have any particular qualifications that would essentially aid them in a high net worth divorce case? For example, in New York and a few other states, the American Academy of Certified Financial litigators or CFL is a designation a growing number of attorneys, including myself, have. Attorneys with the CFL designation specialize in divorce work with high net worth or high-income divorces. The certification demonstrates that the attorney has studied extensively, and at the end of the study has taken a relatively rigorous examination to get their certification. Having this certification indicates the attorney has a particular specialized knowledge in the financial field, which would come into play in a complicated scenario as outlined earlier.
Is It Important For A High Net Worth Divorce Attorney To Have Keen Insight On Business Valuations, Equitable Division Of Real Estate, Stock Options, IRAs, Etc.?
It is important for a high net worth divorce attorney to have keen insight on business valuations, equitable division of real estate, stock options, IRAs, and more. It’s essential because the attorney has to know how to identify certain issues. It also takes a certain base of knowledge to even understand the issues which apply to certain circumstances, and to determine the type of settlement proposal that would better suit their client. Many attorneys in high net worth or high-income cases will hire a forensic accountant to assist them with the process of presenting their client’s case. However, if the attorney does not have a certain base of knowledge on the financial issues, they’re not as likely to understand what the forensic accountant is trying to explain to them, and more importantly, they are not going to know how to best present that information at a potential trial.
The forensic accountant can testify, but at the end of the day, it’s the attorney who’s responsible for presenting the evidence to the Judge in a manner he or she can comprehend. If the attorney doesn’t comprehend it, then it would really beg the question: How would they be able to present it in a way that a Judge would comprehend it?
How Important Is Experience In High Net Worth Divorce Cases?
Experience is very important in a high net worth divorce case. The more experience one has in high income or high net worth divorces, the better off they are as a general rule. One can compare the extremes. For instance, if you have somebody who is fresh out of law school who’s never handled a divorce before (let alone a high net worth divorce), as opposed to an attorney with 20 or 30 years of experience who’s handled hundreds of high income or high net worth divorces, then one would obviously see the difference between the two. The more experience the attorney has, the better off they’re going to be in presenting their client’s case.
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