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Issues In High Asset Georgia Divorces


While it may sound classist or otherwise inequitable to the average person, the truth is that divorces involving high value assets are vastly different than those involving few assets. Questions come up in divorces of well off people that poorer couples simply  do not have to contemplate. They are important to be aware of, however, because the stakes are so high – if issues are not handled appropriately, you could wind up leaving your divorce proceedings minus a significant portion of your net worth.

Unusual Or Hard-To-Trace Assets

Perhaps the most obvious statement about high-asset divorce is that there will be more assets to locate and disburse. However, in this day and age, assets are also becoming harder to track. For example, many couples with high net worth are using Bitcoin, either for its portability, or in some cases, for the ease with which it can hide funds from a spouse or from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). This can pose problems in asset division because one spouse may attempt to hide assets from the other, and use Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency to do it. It is possible to trace Bitcoin purchases, but because of its volatility, it may drastically gain or lose value by the time it is located.

Another asset which can be problematic or difficult to track or quantify is antiques. While art pieces are a bit easier to assess, given that (at least in theory) there is only one of each, antiques can be more difficult because each piece is one of many. Also, provenance and pedigree is much more often debated with antiques than it is with art or statuary; it is not uncommon for experts to disagree and thus cast the value of a certain asset into doubt.

Tax Questions

Another common issue seen much more in high asset divorces than in standard proceedings is related to taxes. With assets being distributed and sometimes changing hands, each spouse must carefully consider not just what they want, but what they can afford to keep. For example, the marital home is an asset often fought over, but if one spouse retains the property, they must also be responsible for property taxes. The same holds true with smaller assets, or with shares in a business or stock portfolio.

Alimony is another question, especially in late 2018. Historically, alimony has been counted as deductible by the payor and as income to be reported by the recipient. However, the passage of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act in mid-2018 will bring sweeping changes. For divorces finalized after December 31, 2018, the alimony deduction will no longer be available, and the recipient will not have to declare alimony as taxable income. This can cause some problems for couples if they are unaware of the modification, as usually the deduction is taken into account while dividing assets.

Call An Atlanta Divorce Lawyer For Help

Everyone, regardless of income level, may need help during a divorce, but if you do have significant assets, you need an attorney who is experienced in handling similar cases. The Atlanta divorce attorneys at Buckhead Family Law are ready, willing, and able to try and assist you in your divorce. Contact our office today at 404-600-1403 to schedule an appointment.


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