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High-net-worth divorce: how it's different

Family law commentators will occasionally suggest in divorce-related articles that high-asset divorces are primarily distinguished from more typical decouplings only by the increased net worth of what is at stake.

In other words, and although many divorces involve real property, there just might be more of it in a high-asset dissolution, with the same holding true for savings and retirement accounts, personal property, the amounts in play regarding alimony, child support and so forth.

That can certainly be true in some comparisons, but it is hardly a universal yardstick by which to measure differences.

And that's because of this: Candidly, many high-net-worth divorces in Arkansas and elsewhere differ quite markedly from many other divorces in the types of issues concerned and questions raised.

Here's a quick example. Far more divorces involving considerable wealth feature the valuation and ultimate disposition of a family-owned business. And, obviously, some of those businesses can be extremely lucrative affairs that give rise to material complexities when they become focal points in high-net-worth divorce.

And the same can easily be true regarding savings and investment vehicles, which, for manifestly wealthy couples, can run the gamut from company-sponsored plans (ranging from 401(k) plans and pensions to bonuses and stock options) to investments made by professional advisers in myriad types of offerings.

For many obvious reasons, the complexities can ratchet up when heightened wealth is on display in a divorce.

Some attorneys and law firms have a demonstrated record of client advocacy and representation in such matters, while others do not. A physician, business owner or other well-compensated professional (and their spouses, as well) might reasonably want to timely contact a family law lawyer with proven acumen in high-net-worth divorce matters with any questions or concerns that arise in this singular family law realm.

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