Fairfax High Net-Worth Divorce Attorneys

Preserving Your Financial Security

In divorce, your family and your life change drastically. Virtually everything you have must be split up—including time with your children. For couples with a high net worth, the challenges are even more complicated. The task of dividing complex assets, business interests, and collectible property requires particular care and expertise. Both parties deserve a secure financial future and a fair division of assets, so the right legal representation is crucial.

At DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, we are committed to preserving your financial security during divorce. With over 60 years of combined legal experience, our Fairfax high net-worth divorce lawyers have helped countless couples reach divorce agreements tailored to their unique needs. If a peaceful resolution is not possible, we are prepared to advocate tirelessly to reach your objectives.

We invite you to schedule a confidential consultation at your convenience so we can explain how we can protect your interest in a high net-worth divorce.

How Is Property Divided in a High Net-Worth Divorce?

Much like any divorce, one of the biggest tasks in a high net-worth divorce is the distribution of assets. Unless you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement or are able to come to your own agreement on asset division, any marital property will be divided by the judge in court. Virginia is not a 50/50 state requiring marital property to be divided equally. Instead, the court will use various factors to determine an “equitable” division of property.

When ruling on the division of property in any divorce, including a high net-worth divorce, the family court judge will look at the following factors:

  • Both spouses’ monetary contributions to the marriage, including income, the use of separate funds for mutual benefit/benefit of the marriage, and more
  • Both spouses’ non-monetary contributions to the marriage, including household services, child-rearing, and any other relevant unpaid work
  • The amount and type of assets, including liquid assets, real estate, businesses, investments, and any debts that may encumber certain properties or result in tax consequences
  • Any behavior by either spouse that “wasted” marital assets or depreciated the value of marital assets, including hiding assets, destroying shared property, secretly transferring funds, etc.

When determining how assets will be divided, the court will also typically factor in the length of the marriage, the age and health of each spouse, and each spouses’ education level/earning capacity.

After weighing these and other relevant factors, the court will assign a “current market value” to all real property and divide these and other properties in a manner it deems “fair.” It is essential to make your attorney aware of any factors that should impact the division of assets, such as if you used assets acquired before your marriage to improve the home you lived in together.

Special Factors Involved in High Net-Worth Divorces in Virginia

Though high net-worth divorces are typically treated by the court as equal to other types of divorces when it comes to asset division, we understand that there are often complicating factors that require extra attention and care. Our Fairfax high net-worth divorce lawyers have experience handling the many aspects that make high net-worth divorces more complex.

Our firm can assist you with handling complex assets such as:

  • Multiple real properties, such as vacation homes and/or rental properties
  • Businesses, business property, profits, and equities
  • 401 (k) accounts, pensions, and other retirement accounts
  • Stocks and investment interests, such as stock options and private stocks included in employee benefits packages
  • Other high-value real and personal property

In every instance, our goal is to help you preserve your assets and work toward a favorable resolution with as little conflict as possible. We understand, however, that collaborative divorce and mediation are not always feasible. When this is the case, we are ready to represent you and your best interests in the courtroom.

Classification of Assets and Debts

One of the most critical steps in a high net-worth divorce is the accurate classification of property and debts. Assets classified as marital are divided in divorce while property treated as separate will be retained by one spouse. Generally speaking, marital property is any property either spouse earned or acquired while they were married, even if the property is listed only in the name of one spouse. The same holds true for debt.

Assets and debt a partner owned before marriage is usually treated as their own separate property or obligation. If, during the marriage, one spouse inherits property, receives a gift, or obtains funds as a result of a personal injury lawsuit, those assets are usually also considered separate assets.

However, when separate assets are co-mingled with marital assets, they can lose their separate characteristic. Moreover, if those assets increased in value during the marriage, the amount of that increase is likely to be treated as marital property.

If a couple entered into a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the terms of that agreement will usually specify how most property should be classified, and those terms would override general presumptions about the property. Whether or not you have a marital agreement defining property terms, you need to ensure that your divorce lawyer is aware of all the factors that could indicate why certain property should be treated as marital or separate.

Valuation of Property in High Net-Worth Divorce

Some property is very difficult to value accurately. Certain retirement plan assets, for instance, can be valued at the time of separation, the time of divorce, or the time they are expected to be distributed. The value of rare collectible property is based on subjective opinion and can vary widely. And interests in a closely-held business are often the most difficult of all to assess fairly, particularly if the business lacks a thorough plan of succession that specifies valuation issues.

At DiPietro Law Group, PLLC, we work with professionals on a regular basis to ensure that all types of assets are valued appropriately. At the same time, we also factor the emotional element into the equation. If you know that there are certain assets that you really want to keep—or you know that your ex wants to hang onto—we can negotiate to take advantage of all opportunities to achieve the best results for your family.

Work with Fairfax Attorneys Who Understand All the Nuances of High Net-Worth Divorce

You’ve worked hard to get where you are, and you shouldn’t have to go back to square one after a divorce. Let the experienced high net-worth divorce attorneys at DiPietro Law Group, PLLC develop a plan to protect your interests so that you can emerge ready to move forward.

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  • DiPietro Law Group, PLLC "He is an excellent attorney and provided me with the representation and counsel that produced a final settlement agreement, which resulted in me not having to pay any additional alimony."
  • DiPietro Law Group, PLLC "Made the process seem effortless though I know that wasn’t the case behind the scenes."
  • DiPietro Law Group, PLLC "Mr. DiPietro took the time to get the facts and check the laws. Mr. DiPietro also has empathy, which is sorely lacking in the legal world."
  • DiPietro Law Group, PLLC "My experience with Mr. Gross was positive and I was left satisfied with the end result."
  • DiPietro Law Group, PLLC "Joseph DiPietro is a remarkable lawyer. From the start, it is so evident that he is so confident in what he knows and what he can do, and he exudes that confidence."
  • DiPietro Law Group, PLLC "I have heard it said you get what you pay for....and we got the best."
  • DiPietro Law Group, PLLC "We are forever grateful to have had the DiPietro Firm represent us."

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