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High-Asset Wealth Protection

High-Asset Wealth Protection New Jersey

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    Thinking of Divorce? A New Jersey High-Asset Wealth Protection Lawyer May Be for You 

    You work hard. You’re smart and passionate about your career. You invest wisely, you spend wisely, you work with financial advisors— your assets are yours, and that didn’t just happen by accident. That happened through years of dedication, sacrifice, and design. 

    When we think of divorce, too often we think of financial ruin: the inability to retain the marital home; the dissolution of the joint bank account; even the mounting legal bills. We think of once prosperous couples now living a diminished lifestyle due to the financial pressures of divorce. 

    But it doesn’t have to be that way. A New Jersey High-Asset Wealth Protection Lawyer can help you safeguard what you’ve worked so hard to build. Whether these assets are real estate (including second homes and investment properties), investment portfolios, retirement savings, art collections, or something else, divorce doesn’t have to rob you of your high-end assets. 

    Let’s look at the steps that you and your lawyer can take. 

    Get your financials in order

    Prior to consulting with a New Jersey High-Asset Wealth Protection Lawyer, make sure your paperwork is in order. Download and print-out as much information, and organize it, as best you can (especially prior to a spouse changing passwords on accounts). We often plan to do this but fail to find the time (say a filing system that’s weeks behind?!). Organized financial records will help your lawyer and you as you move forward. If you’re concerned you cannot do this properly, don’t worry: a dedicated family law paralegal will be assigned to assist you. 

    If and only if you really believe your spouse will curtail your access to your accounts (or, worse yet, empty your accounts), discuss with your lawyer isolating half of any joint bank accounts into a new, separate bank account. Perhaps the answer is to open a separate bank account and move no more than precisely half of the monies you have available in joint-checking and joint-savings accounts to safeguard it. Your lawyer will work with you to advise your spouse or the opposing counsel and ensure you have the cash flow, credit, and assets you need and deserve. 

    Monitor activity on your credit report

    If you’re thinking of divorce, keep an eye on your joint credit cards. Spouses on the verge of separating often rack up large credit card charges, hoping that perhaps those charges and that debt will be dealt with jointly, or increase the marital lifestyle used to determine alimony. Monitor your credit card statements vigorously and use credit monitoring services. If you observe suspicious activity, report it immediately and let your lawyer know. 

    Separate debt

    Debt incurred during the marriage is known as ‘marital debt,’ and usually the Court will strive for a fifty-fifty split of marital debt depending upon various factors. If one spouse has long-term debt prior to the marriage (student loans, medical expenses, etc.) separate that debt as soon as possible. Sometimes the spouse with debt contemplating divorce will hide said debt from their partner (think of, say, monies spent gambling, or for conducting an extramarital affair). Keep you lawyer informed of the whole financial picture. 

    Take inventory of your assets

    What exactly do you have, asset-wise? Make a list and include relative financial statements and documentation, up-to-date amounts, and links to pertinent information (and passwords). Consider all assets: a business, a particular piece of art, a bond, etc. You want a comprehensive asset picture. An additional step here may be to hire appraisers: what is that vacation home worth now? Your lawyer will advise you with regards to forensic accountants, appraisers, and other members of your financial team who can assist with asset inventory. 

    Review your cash-flow analysis

    Assets are not the same as cash. Oftentimes divorce brings on a cash-flow problem, as assets are tied up in real estate, stock holdings and valuations that the Court must examine prior to distribution. Review your cash-flow: make a list of what comes in, and your expenses (what goes out). Be realistic with yourself here, so you may be realistic with your lawyer— if done properly, your lifestyle (or your children’s) does not necessarily need to decrease because of the divorce proceedings. 

    Know that you’ll have a financial team

    your New Jersey High-Asset Wealth Protection Lawyer will work with a forensic account, as well as our in-house dedicated family law paralegals. And your team will have your back. 

    Don’t relinquish control and don’t be financially bullied

    This is your work, your money, your divorce. Don’t let your soon-to-be-ex-spouse devalue your role as a parent, a spouse, an earner— a person. We’re here to protect your wealth— and that starts with protecting you, and your children. 

    Equitable distribution is the Court’s concept of dividing assets fairly, but it’s worth noting that assets brought to a marriage by our party aren’t generally subjected to equitable distribution (as opposed to assets accrued jointly during the marriage). Obviously if a prenuptial agreement has been utilized, that agreement may place guardrails on distribution, but even without a prenuptial agreement if you’ve brought wealth or generational wealth to the marriage it can be protected. You may even want to talk with your New Jersey High-asset Wealth Protection Lawyer about a postnuptial agreement. 

    We live in a culture that often tries to shame wealth, and the development of wealth. Divorce can be part of that shame— even now, it can carry a stigma that leads too many people to think I don’t deserve this. But you do, and so do your children: make sure you fight for what you’re worth, and what you deserve. 

    O’Cathain Law Group’s motto is Move Forward. A big part of moving forward in your post-marriage chapter is being financially secure and protecting your wealth. Together, we can make sure you protect the high-end assets you deserve. 

    Contemplating divorce but concerned about your high-asset wealth? Call (201) 488-1161, fill out the intake form, or email a dedicated Family Law paralegal to speak with a New Jersey High-Asset Wealth Protection Lawyer at O’Cathain Law Group.

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