A divorce involving a spouse or spouses with high net worth can be complicated. Issues of protecting one’s separate estate, valuation of business interests, income tracing, commingling of funds, valuation of good will, equitable division, alimony, child custody, and child support require a lawyer who knows how to analyze the issues, how to utilize the appropriate legal tools, and how to prove facts and present evidence in order to produce the best outcome for the client.
Obtaining a full financial disclosure and accounting is a fundamental basic before any analysis can begin. A client gives as much information as they know, but generally aggressive discovery must be commenced to uncover the true scope of assets and debt. The discovery process can be fraught with evasion and delay, so having an attorney with the skill and knowledge to deal with such abuses is necessary to protect the client’s interests.
Legal advice even prior to the filing of a divorce is an important guide to prevent financial harm once the case has started. This is especially true if the client is self-employed. At Ball Family Law, we frequently employ the services of forensic accountants, business valuators, appraisers and corporate experts to advise a client about protecting the integrity of his or her business so that it can be valued appropriately.
There can be cases involving unusual property issues. For instance, there may be cremated ashes of a deceased child of the parties. How is such a sensitive matter to be decided? It takes a lawyer who listens to the client and the adverse party and tries to work out an agreement that is respectful to both parties, and to the memory of the deceased loved one.
There may be the more typical case of how to divide an asset that has appreciated over time. If the asset was started or created before the marriage, Georgia law provides ways to equitably divide the asset which preserves the pre-marital component. In addition, if a pre-marital asset has appreciated due solely to market forces, there are certain methods of proof that are relevant to analyzing whether the asset is subject to equitable division.
A divorce affects all aspects of life: one’s livelihood, lifestyle, and future relationships. Particularly where children are involved, it is important to have a lawyer who is experienced and knowledgeable about the court system. Ball Family Law can represent clients with high net worth and complex property issues, and with contested child custody matters, with thoughtful, dedicated and zealous advocacy.