Divorce is simply defined as "a judicial declaration dissolving marriage in whole or in part." However, divorce is not as clear cut as its definition may imply. Divorce can involve years of lengthy proceedings, the majority of which center around distribution of assets (especially those to which someone is emotionally attached), alimony payments, child support, and child custody. In cases where assets are significant, it is essential to have an attorney on your side who is experienced in successfully handling divorce cases involving high assets. While you may be tempted to credit your soon-to-be ex-spouse with the honesty a legal proceeding requires, very often times a divorce can bring out the absolute worst in a person and cause them to do things you would never guess they would do. At Tenn And Tenn, P.A. we know the ‘red flags’ and understand that divorce is a difficult enough period to get through in one’s life, so we'll handle all the details of the case to ensure that you receive an equitable outcome in your case.
Common areas of contention in a high assets divorce are:
- Retirement accounts, including pensions and 401ks
- Military and/or Social Security benefits
- Shares of stock and other stakes in businesses
- Multi-property home and real estate distributions
- Spousal support (alimony) and/or child support
- Collections of antiques, art, coins, jewelry, or firearms
- Validity of the terms under which a pre-nuptial agreement was decided upon
A pre-nuptial agreement is defined as "a written contract between two people who are about to marry, setting out the terms of possession of assets, treatment of future earnings, control of the property of each, and potential division if the marriage is later dissolved. Pre-nuptial agreements are most commonly used in scenarios where there are substantial assets involved prior to marriage, inheritances at risk, high income earners, children from prior relationships, or where a previously married individual has been “raked over the coals” in a bad divorce. A pre-nuptial agreement can simplify divorce proceedings, clarifying exactly where assets are to be allocated so as to avoid extended argument and costly litigation.
In some cases, pre-nuptial agreements can be challenged on the basis that either:
- There was not a full disclosure of income and/or assets in the original agreement
- The agreement was unreasonably inequitable from the start
- Both parties were represented by the same counsel, who may have acted in bias and favored one party over the other
- Proper procedure was not followed in the creation of the pre-nuptial agreement
Oftentimes parties sign a pre-nuptial agreement without independent review by a qualified attorney, and are unable to recognize or understand exactly what the agreement means or if it is fair and reasonable. It is human nature to expect that your future spouse is presenting you with an honest and fair pre-nuptial, and to assume the best while heading into your marriage. Years later, with the benefit of experience and hindsight, things may look very different. If a pre-nuptial agreement is no longer an option or needs to be challenged, and divorce proceedings are imminent, don't hesitate to call the NH divorce lawyers at Tenn And Tenn, P.A. We can provide you with a consultation regarding your New Hampshire divorce case, and guarantee to handle your case with the utmost discretion and skill.