Fairfax High Net Worth Divorce Attorney

When high-net-worth individuals divorce, they often face more complicated challenges than standard marriage dissolutions. They often must divide multiple property concerns, bank accounts, and businesses. The couple may require services from CPAs, forensic accountants, and other experts to ensure fair valuation and division.

If you are involved in a complex divorce proceeding, contact a Fairfax high-net-worth divorce attorney at Select Law Partners PLLC. We have the experience and skill to manage the complexities while protecting your and your children’s interests. Contact us to arrange a consultation with a Fairfax divorce lawyer and learn more today.

fairfax high net worth divorce attorney

How is a high net worth divorce defined?

A high net worth divorce typically involves a marriage where one or both spouses have net liquid assets totaling $1 million or more. These unions may involve high incomes or joint ventures and could involve existing marital agreements, such as a pre-nuptial contract. In some cases, the individuals may be in the public eye or have substantial standing in the business world, causing them to prefer privacy during the divorce.

How will my high net-worth divorce attorney handle the details of my case?

Whether the couple has a prenup or not, many circumstances during divorce could require guidance from a qualified Fairfax high-net-worth divorce lawyer. Among the many advantages of working with an attorney is their extensive professional network, which may include:

  • Forensic experts: Dividing a business or other asset appropriately requires accurate valuation. It may also include investigating the asset’s provenance to determine whether it is considered marital or separate property under Virginia law.
  • Child health and care experts: The attorney may include assessments from a family or child psychology specialist to protect the children’s interests throughout the process.
  • Evidence discovery experts: When one spouse attempts to hide assets, these individuals can identify and present documents supporting the true value of properties or other items.
  • Mental health experts: If one spouse feels the other is unfit to retain custody of the children, they may request testing to establish whether the other spouse exhibits any mental health issues that could negatively impact the children.
  • Valuation experts: Real estate, antiques, artwork, business assets, and livestock may require specialists with highly skilled backgrounds in calculating appropriate values.

Your attorney will work to ensure every concern is addressed within the bounds of the law so that assets are divided appropriately. In Virginia, couples can follow two main pathways for asset division: submitting a Property Settlement Agreement to the court when filing or allowing the court to order the division. In a Property Settlement Agreement, you can divide everything 50/50, or you can choose to split some things evenly while assigning other items to each spouse according to their need or sentimental attachment.

What if a couple owns a business or has retirement funds to divide?

Your Farifax high net worth divorce attorney will examine all aspects of your case, including investigating whether any assets are undisclosed or undervalued. When couples have businesses, retirement accounts, or other assets worth a great deal, special actions are needed to ensure they are split and transferred according to the law.

Dividing a business requires analyzing whether one or both spouses started the venture, as well as how much each contributed to it during the marriage. Sometimes, one partner will put in financial support while the other provides “sweat equity.” Common options include awarding the business to the one who invested the most, one partner buying out the other’s interest or agreeing to continue operating the company together after the divorce.

Virginia is an equitable distribution state when it comes to retirement and similar accounts. If one spouse has a retirement account and the other does not, the non-owning spouse is entitled to no more than 50% of the fund benefits. However, this is not guaranteed by law, and how much the other spouse receives depends on their debts, savings, earning capability, and accustomed lifestyle. Your high net worth divorce attorney can advise you about splitting retirement accounts for your specific situation.

How does Virginia define marital vs. separate property?

The Virginia equitable distribution link provided above discusses what is defined as marital and separate property. Essentially, marital assets are those obtained during the marriage, and separate property was owned prior to the wedding. However, there are some specific details under Virginia law you should understand.

When an asset is titled in the names of both spouses, such as a home or other property, it is considered marital. This includes joint banking accounts and any separately owned money that is placed in these accounts. Pensions, profit-sharing compensation, and retirement funds are considered marital, shared property and must be divided as described above.

Separate property is anything either the spouse acquired prior to the marriage, or they inherited in their own name only during the marriage. It also includes income or other funds they maintained as separate, meaning they did not comingle the money in a shared account. If one spouse inherited property or other assets, those are separate if they remain under the inheritor’s name only. If the inheritor puts their spouse’s name on the title, it becomes a marital asset.

How are child custody and child support decisions handled in a Fairfax high net worth divorce case?

Much of the work around child custody and child support in a high net worth divorce is the same as with any Fairfax, VA, divorce case. However, the negotiations may be more prolonged if one parent spends the marriage caring for the children and does not have the ability to earn a living right after the divorce. Under Rhode Island child custody laws, the family court judge will consider factors including:

  • The age of the children
  • The number of children
  • Whether the custodial parent receives child support from a previous partner
  • Each child’s relationship with each parent
  • Each spouse’s willingness to care for each child
  • The children’s accustomed lifestyle
  • Each child’s preference, if the court decides they are old enough to state one
  • The quality of living arrangements each parent can provide
  • Whether either parent has a history of domestic violence

The amount of child support paid to the custodial parent will also rely on these same factors, as well as the custodial parent’s ability to work and whether the non-custodial parent is paying support for other children. The wisest decision is to negotiate an agreement between the parents and present it to the judge. By doing so, you show the court that you have your children’s best interests in mind, which is also the judge’s priority.

How is spousal support or alimony handled in Virginia high net worth divorce cases?

Sometimes called alimony, spousal support is a common factor in high net worth divorce cases when one party earned or held substantially more income and assets than the other. In situations where one spouse stayed home to care for children while the other managed a business or built their career, negotiating a support agreement will be critical. Under Code of Virginia § 20-108.2, the court considers several factors for awarding alimony, including:

  • How long the marriage lasted
  • How the spouses behaved toward one another while married
  • Whether the paying party can afford to provide alimony, along with other necessary expenses
  • The employability, age, health, and work skills of the recipient
  • How each party is affected by childcare and custody after the divorce
  • How long it will take the supported spouse to acquire appropriate skills and employment
  • The couple’s standard of living during the marriage

The state will also allow three general lengths of time for providing spousal support. Temporary support is paid during the divorce proceedings and ends when the divorce is finalized. Rehabilitative alimony is paid for a fixed period to allow the supported spouse time to go back to school or otherwise develop their skills to earn a living. In some cases, a spouse may qualify for indefinite alimony that is paid for the remainder of their life.

Spousal support is often terminated when the supported party remarries. However, this requires the paying spouse to file a legal action requesting an end to the payments. Whether you are paying or receiving, it can be beneficial to speak with a qualified high net worth divorce attorney from Select Law Partners to ensure your alimony interests are protected.

Speak with a Fairfax high net worth divorce attorney at Select Law Partners today

The team at Select Law Partners PLLC is dedicated to providing superior service to high net worth individuals during divorce proceedings. We understand your need for privacy, efficiency, and knowledge to ensure you receive what you deserve. We can help you protect your assets and secure appropriate custody arrangements. Your attorney will focus on keeping your case out of the public eye so your finances remain private.

We understand that choosing an attorney can be challenging. We offer a highly skilled and experienced team with a deep familiarity with Fairfax, VA, divorce law. Our divorce lawyers can manage every aspect of your case while you focus on supporting your children and preparing for the next chapter of your life. You do not have to go through this alone or without guidance from seasoned professionals.

Select Law Partners believes in integrity, honesty, and collaboration to reach the best possible outcome for you and your family. Schedule a consultation with a Fairfax high net worth divorce attorney today by calling (855) 541-4867 or using our online form today.

The information you obtain at this site is not, nor is it intended to be, legal advice. You should consult an attorney for advice regarding your individual situation.

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