Involved in a High-Net Worth Divorce in Westchester County?
Our Westchester County Divorce Lawyers Can Protect Your Financial Future
In a New York State divorce action, there are multiple options to consider
and decisions that need to be made that will profoundly affect your financial
future. Our family attorneys can help protect your rights and pursue a
Contact us today at (914) 840-5104.
Our Westchester County divorce lawyers will:
- Counsel you
- Provide you with legal advice
- Make recommendations
- Aggressively pursue your goals
The firm's goal will be to achieve the best possible outcome. We are
highly experienced family lawyers in New York State and regularly practice
in Westchester County and the surrounding counties. Our main office is
located in downtown White Plains, New York.
Our law firm has the tools necessary to aggressively negotiate and, if
necessary, litigate your
divorce matter. Every divorce is a stressful process and that is why our divorce
lawyers do everything possible to keep you informed at all times regarding
your case and we will actively keep you involved during the entire divorce
process. Your calls will be returned, your voice will be heard and we
will protect your rights including your financial future so you can put
the divorce behind you to move on with your life in as best a financial
position as possible.
Equitable Distribution in New York
New York State is an
equitable distribution state in that assets and debts are not necessarily divided 50/50, but
courts will seek to divide assets and debts in a fair manner. New York
does consider pre-marital and separate marital property including prenuptial
agreements all of which must be taken into consideration when a marriage
dissolves. The first step is for you and our law firm to have a clear
understanding of your assets, debts and the value of property to accurately
determine your net worth.
When you first retain our office, we give you a list of documents needed
to develop a legal strategy. Our divorce attorneys need to know information
concerning bank accounts, stocks, bonds, antiques, collectables, vehicles,
boats, jewelry, inheritances, retirement plans, licenses earned during
the marriage, real property, businesses owned and any assets sold or transferred.
Our divorce lawyers then make a clear determination between separate property
and marital property.
The Non-Negotiable Items
Once we review your assets, we ask if there are any items that are non-negotiable
(either due to their monitory value or sentimental value). Many clients
have approached us with special pieces of jewelry, automobiles, art work,
rare books, furniture, pets or even photographs. Our divorce lawyers will
then identify negotiable items that can easily be replaced and use those
items as bargaining tools during our settlement negotiations for what
assets or personal items are really important to you.
Large Assets or Businesses
When either spouse owns a business or a large asset, those items might
have to be valuated. First, we will ask you to put a valuation on any
business or large asset and determine if your spouse agrees or is close
to the valuation. Sometimes it becomes necessary to hire a professional
evaluator (expert) to determine the value of a business or asset, as a
professional evaluator always takes an objective independent valuation.
The best example of an expert evaluation is an appraisal on a marital home.
A home appraisal is commonly done to determine the true market value of
real property including a marital residence. Our lawyers have handled
countless divorce actions and we legally strategize our high net worth
divorces just as a business person might do when running a large company.
We use highly respected and skilled experts when doing any evaluation
to put you in the best possible position when proceeding with a divorce action.
The Marital Residence
As mentioned above, the marital residence is usually a valuable asset in
your net worth. The marital residence is sometimes a contested matter
in the divorce process. Our high-net worth divorce attorneys will help
you successfully divide any real estate. We consider a number of factors,
in addition to the normal appraisal, including the following: any child(ren)
who wish to remain in the home, equity in the home, the ability of either
spouse to refinance, the current real estate market, which spouse desires
to stay in the home and how this could be used as leverage against other assets.
As part of our legal strategy, our Westchester County divorce lawyers discuss
the division of the marital home very early in the divorce process. We
want to be prepared and leave nothing to chance or guess work. Some initial
decisions include the selection of a broker, selecting an appraiser, division
of equity and contingency plans if the house does not sell must be addressed.
Every client's financial situation is different and our divorce lawyers
sometimes need to come up with creative tactics to protect you financially.
Over the past few years this has become increasingly necessary as the
housing market went into a slump and has been slow to recover. Your case
is not simply put into a formula or equation we actively strategize about
unique and sometimes uncommon solutions to best meet all of your individual needs
In the high net worth divorce, there are usually large sums of money held
in multiple retirement accounts. Our job as your divorce attorney is to
identify the location and value of each account including any loans against
those accounts. Retirement accounts commonly includes, 401K plans, pensions,
annuities, stock options, deferred compensation, executive compensation
packages, bonuses and other similar assets. These retirement accounts
are very important as they represent our client's "nest egg"
earned over the course of several years or even decades.
When discussing the division of retirement assets it is important to understand
the qualified domestic relations order (QDRO). This is a system for distributing
retirement assets into a separate retirement account usually based upon
the date of the marriage and the date the divorce action was commended.
Our goal is to protect your retirement assets. A QDRO is prepared after
a divorce action is finished but negotiated before a settlement or is
set forth by a judge after a trial. The QDRO will then set forth allocation
of retirement benefits.
College Savings Plans
In many high net worth divorces, college savings plans are established
for the child(ren) of the parties. Our divorce lawyers will discuss all
options regarding any college savings plan. Common issues as to a 529
plan or other college savings plan include:
- Is the account jointly held?
- Will separate college savings plans be established?
- How will child support change or alter the plan?
- Will contributions continue to the plan?
- Should the plan be disrupted at all?
These are some of the initial issues that need to be resolved. Depending
on your goals and specific case facts we can provide advice and guidance
on the college savings plan.
The Basics of Maintenance (Alimony) in New York State
As discussed on our divorce lawyer's maintenance webpage our divorce
lawyers will, early on in the case, discuss and develop a legal strategy
to argue for or against maintenance payments. There are two types of maintenance
in New York State; pre-judgment of divorce (while the case is pending)
and post judgment of divorce (after the case is over). Our firm will explain
the difference and how we can protect your financial future.
Factors to consider include the following:
- Pre or post nuptial agreements
- The length of the marriage
- If a spouse has forfeited employment or school to raise children or support
a spouses' career
- The income of the parties
- Child support
- Property division
Learn more about strategizing maintenance payments during your divorce
case by contacting our Westchester County divorce lawyers.
Our Legal Team
At Riebling, Proto & Sachs, LLP, we use our collective experience and
knowledge to aggressively work for our clients. We understand the importance
of your case and we will do everything possible to protect your financial
future. We are available for a free initial consultation. Feel free to
contact us online or by calling us at (914) 840-5104.