Heidi E. Opinsky

The Law Offices of Heidi E. Opinsky, LLC

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Connecticut High-Asset Divorce

Serving High Net Worth Individuals In Greenwich, Stamford, Westport And NYC

Couples have spent years gathering assets during the course of a marriage. High-earning and high net worth couples with significant income and revenues may find themselves facing difficult prospects when obtaining a divorce. There are different classifications of assets that must be divided. In many cases, one party earns more of the income or manages the assets while the other spouse maintains the home and takes primary responsibility of raising the children on a daily basis. Many spouses may not be aware when their marriage goes awry of some of the property that has been accumulated during the course of the marriage, or the earning potential and income of their partner. It is not unusual for a thorough analysis to reveal some assets or income that has been concealed or hidden.

Heidi E. Opinsky and her team of legal professionals with a divorce firm that has offices in Connecticut and New York, where exceeding the high expectations of our clients is at the core of our practice. Ms. Opinsky brings this dedication to representing individuals going through a divorce, where significant assets must be distributed in a fair allocation and substantial income and earning capacity of a spouse must be ascertained.

The basic elements of a high-asset divorce are the same as any other divorce, with the factors to be addressed including:

  • The equitable distribution of property (both Connecticut and New York are equitable distribution states)
  • The education and career of each spouse
  • The assets that each spouse possessed prior to the marriage
  • The origin of the assets and property, including whether the person had the property prior to the marriage, whether it was inherited, or whether it was acquired during the marriage through the efforts of one or both spouses; although there are some differences between Connecticut and New York law, including the treatment of separate property (New York only), the court will apply equitable principles to the distribution of the property if the parties do not agree in advance to a specific division
  • The direct financial contributions a spouse made to the acquisition of the marital property or the indirect contributions a spouse made during the marital economic partnership as a dutiful spouse, homemaker and parent in raising the children
  • The custody and support of any minor children; in a high net worth divorce, the court will examine the unique aspects of the case rather than apply established guidelines in determining the amount of support, once the minimum income levels have been met, and child support will be aimed at maintaining the standard of living of the child
  • An appropriate amount and duration for
    alimony/maintenance payments given the parties’ respective stations in life at the time of the divorce
  • Any other considerations, including the behavior of the parties leading up to the divorce; although an allegation of fault is not necessary to obtain a divorce, bad acts of a party may be used in determining the equitable distribution of the property

One of the most common issues in a high-asset divorce is determining what assets are subject to distribution and what the true income is of the spouse with the superior earning capacity. It may require a forensic expert accountant and other financial experts in order to ensure that all available assets are brought to the table during the divorce. An expert forensic accountant and other expert appraisers have the skill and expertise to properly examine tax returns and business documents and the market in order to properly determine the values of assets subject to distribution, or assets and income that are disguised or concealed or artificially deflated or inflated for creative economic purposes in representing the spouse during the divorce.

A high-asset couple who is going through a divorce must obtain valuations of items such as:

  • Real property — this often includes vacation homes and investment properties, including those in other states or even international locations
  • Stocks, stock options, hedge funds, bonuses, executive compensation plans and other investment vehicles
  • Retirement accounts, pensions, 401(k)s, profit-sharing plans
  • Severance packages and benefit plans
  • Businesses and business interests; whether one or both spouses work in the business will be considered, as well as when and how the business and business interests were acquired and whether there is a plan to keep the business operating going forward while allocating a buyout piece to the nontitled spouse
  • Collectibles
  • Artwork and antiques
  • Jewelry

A high-asset divorce also means very complicated tax issues and
tax consequences and payments that dictate how the assets are going to be allocated in order to minimize the negative financial consequences to the parties in dividing these assets. A skilled high-asset divorce attorney understands the principles behind these structured allocations in order to get the best possible results for her clients.

Heidi E. Opinsky Represents Individuals In High-Asset Divorces

There are many complexities that must be handled carefully when two individuals with high net worth are going through the process of a divorce. A high-asset divorce must be approached with a clear strategy that focuses on maximizing the property awarded at the conclusion of the divorce. Heidi E. Opinsky represents moderate to high net worth individuals in divorce actions, so she knows how to craft an effective divorce strategy.

Experienced Divorce And Family Law Attorney Serving Connecticut And New York

A high-asset individual is going to face unique obstacles when going through a divorce. It is important to have a knowledgeable and skilled divorce attorney and team representing your interests throughout the divorce. Contact Heidi E. Opinsky today to schedule a confidential consultation. You can
reach her online or call her at 203-653-3542.