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High net-worth divorce

The effect of a divorce on retirement

At some point during their marriage, a Massachusetts couple may begin to plan for their retirement. However, there are cases where couples may decide to get a divorce, which could cause major problems for both parties if they are nearing the age of retirement or have already retired. While this can be a setback, there are several steps that ex-couples can take to ensure their retirement is not completely derailed. One piece of advice that is often given is for both parties to hire their own financial professional when they are contemplating ending their marriage. A financial adviser may assist with retirement details, future investments and taxes. Both parties should also review their existing retirement assets, and a financial professional may help a client understand how accounts may grow under certain scenarios. When Social Security retirement benefits are considered, many experts suggest that if possible people should put off beginning to draw them down until they reach the age of 70. Finally, making a new budget that takes a divorced person’s new financial limitations into account is extremely important. It is recommended that people track how they are spending their money so that they can better determine where to cut spending in order to save for retirement. Additionally, keeping up with retirement planning after the divorce has been finalized will help the person stay on track. In a high net-worth divorce, an attorney may help a client seek a fair share of the couple’s property. Retirement plans often are a

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Complex property division in Massachusetts divorce cases

The issue of property division often becomes contentious in Massachusetts divorce cases, and this is especially true when the assets involved are significant. Assets such as stock portfolios, artwork and real estate are often difficult to divide equitably, and sometimes reaching an understanding regarding their value is challenging. Experts may be called upon to assist with such valuations, but even experts sometimes find an agreement elusive. Massachusetts law requires marital property to be divided equitably, but that does not mean all assets must be allocated equally between the spouses. In many cases, the primary residence will not be sold, and the spouse who remains in the home will receive a smaller share of other assets. The unpredictable nature of appreciation is another consideration, and discussions about the division of assets that are expected to increase in value may become antagonistic. When an agreement can not be reached, a judge will decide what is fair. If you are contemplating a divorce, you may have concerns that go beyond how assets will be divided. Investments are often highly complex in nature, and you could face taxation issues if they are liquidated before maturity. You may also have concerns about business holdings if dividing stock equally would impact your ability to run a company effectively. Our extensive experience in high net-worth divorce cases makes us familiar with these issues, and we help our clients to remain focused on pragmatic considerations while we provide strong advocacy to protect your interests. If you are considering

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Financial considerations when a marriage ends

Many marriages in Massachusetts and across the nation end in divorce, and an individual should be prepared if they believe they are headed toward dissolving their marriage. If the couple has not established a prenuptial agreement, each person might consider hiring a financial advisor before they sign the divorce decree. In a high net-worth divorce, taxes and financial implications can seriously affect what each person walks away with when the marriage ends. Generally, assets can be transferred between married parties without tax implications. However, dividing some assets, such as stocks, art collections or mutual funds, can lead to serious tax penalties. A financial advisor, tax attorney, accountant or other professional can provide additional counsel regarding retirement funds, Qualified Domestic Relations Orders, Individual Retirement Accounts, federal and state income taxes, an estate plan or the dependency exemption for children. The most valuable joint asset for a couple will probably be their family home. The couple might choose one of three options: selling the home with an immediate division of the proceeds, selling the home with delayed division of the proceeds or a buy-out of the interest in the home by one party so that the other party keeps the home. In any of these cases, either partner can prevent payment of capital gains taxes by reinvesting the earnings from the home. However, in order for both parties to qualify, they must have both lived in the home for a certain amount of time. Otherwise, they risk losing their eligibility. During a

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The issues that stock options present in a divorce

Massachusetts residents who are contemplating a divorce may be interested in one issue that often accompanies the process. When a couple spits up, certain types of stock owned by one of the parties may present problems that others do not. Restricted stock is a type of stock that is usually given to an employee for no cost, but only becomes transferable after certain conditions are met. This could include working at the company for a certain amount of time, among other possible terms. On the other hand, stock options are a type of compensation that allows the holder to purchase a certain amount of stock at a set price, but at a later date. This often results in acquiring the stock at a lower price. When one spouse owns, or claims to own, one of these types of compensation, these can present complex property division issues. The first step to take when dealing with these assets is to make sure that they actually exist. This may require an attorney inquiring about options and restricted stock with the company’s human resources department. The worth of the stock should then be determined, which may be difficult if the shares are not publicly traded. After the value is determined, the non-owning spouse should be sure to get an equitable distribution of the shares. If the shares are not given as part of the divorce, assets equivalent to the value of the stock should be their replacement. A contentious high net-worth divorce often brings

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A look at how an inheritance is treated during a divorce

Massachusetts couples may be interested in information regarding the splitting of inheritances during a divorce. The outcome could depend on how the money is treated when received. When a marriage ends, there are often questions about whether certain property is included in the division between the former spouses. One type of property that may be contentious is an inheritance received by one spouse during the marriage. An inheritance received before or after the marriage is generally not considered marital property, so this is usually not divided. Similarly, when an inheritance is received during a marriage by only one spouse, this usually not counted as marital property. When the inheritance is received and the funds are kept separate from other marital property, it is usually safe. This means that the money is deposited in a separate bank account than the rest of the money owned by the former couple. If the inheritor commingles the inheritance with the rest of the couple’s money, though, this could make it part of the former couple’s marital property. This, in turn, would be part of the property division phase of the divorce. This could apply to both inheritances received during the marriage and outside of the marriage. It may be possible to show that the funds were never meant to be mixed, but the bar for proving this in court can be quite high. Understanding the proper way to handle inheritance funds, real estate holdings and other property in a high net-worth divorce can be

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High net-worth divorce could complicate Massachusetts proceedings

For many Massachusetts residents, being successful may mean gaining a considerable amount of money. Measuring success in this manner is not uncommon, and many individuals hope to maintain a certain level of wealth once it has been achieved. However, high net-worth divorce could threaten a person’s ability to remain in control of their assets, especially if there was not a prenuptial agreement in place. Harold Hamm, founder of successful oil company Continental Resources, may be wishing that he had created a prenuptial agreement as he is now going through divorce. It was reported that Hamm’s worth comes in at approximately $17 billion, and now that he and his wife are separating, that wealth could potentially be split in half if it determined that it falls under marital property. In this case, the difference between hard work and luck could play a crucial role. Hamm claims that he was very lucky in obtaining the wealth that is currently attributed to his name. As a result, he believes that he should continue to be in full control of that wealth. However, the assets involved in this situation could potentially be considered marital property and up for equitable division if it is determined that Hamm’s gaining of the wealth had little to do with luck. Because Hamm would like to maintain his wealth and his wife likely hopes to gain an equal share, the high net-worth divorce could be quite complicated. For Massachusetts residents who have a considerable amount of wealth themselves, this

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High net-worth divorce could affect Massachusetts residents

Preparing for a situation that Massachusetts residents believe will be emotionally taxing may be difficult. High net-worth divorce could be one of those situations as the parties involved may feel that their lifestyle will be greatly affected by separation. Therefore, individuals may wish to ensure that they focus on the proceedings as clearly as possible in order to be better able to prepare for their future. When a significant amount of money or property is to be divided during a divorce, it may seem easy to simply worry about how to gain assets that are worth more. Parties may think that they will be more easily able to maintain their lifestyle if they obtain more money or valuable property. However, not all property is easily sold, and if an individual needs the income from the assets, he or she could be found in a difficult situation. If an individual is able to maintain ownership of a residence, it may seem as if something has been won. Unfortunately, making payments on a home may be more difficult when an income is reduced due to divorce. Therefore, researching and preparing for what a person’s situation may be like financially after divorce could help parties have the ability to focus on what would be best for their future as opposed to simply gaining as much property as they can. High net-worth divorce can be difficult for the individuals involved as they may wish to fight in order to maintain the lifestyle they are

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High net-worth divorce: majority of Mihos assets to go to wife

When the divorce was granted on Oct. 15, the judge found that Christy Mihos, politician and businessman from Massachusetts, was a deceiving, ego-driven man. His impulsive and reckless behavior was said to have resulted in financial destruction. In the high net-worth divorce case of Christy and his wife Andrea, the court ruled that the majority of their assets go to Andrea. Andrea Mihos accused Christy of misusing millions of dollars during two hopeless political campaigns in 2006 and 2010, along with squandering money on porn stars, strippers and prostitutes. The majority of the Mihos’ remaining riches are offset by liabilities or tied up in real estate, as shown in documents filed in bankruptcy court and the divorce case. The judge ordered two multimillion-dollar homes on Great Island to be sold. According to court documents, the assets are worth around $4 million, including profits from the sale of the Great Island properties. Of this, the judge ordered Christy to receive $1.1 million and Andrea approximately $2.9 million. Christy Mihos had suggested he receive 53 percent, while Andrea Mihos wished to receive 95 percent of the net assets. The final decision granted the husband about 28 percent and the wife about 72 percent. Their condominium in Florida and a home on Great Island were split between them. Of their vehicles, the judge ordered that Andrea Mihos will get a leased BMW, two Land Rovers and a Mercedes, while Christy Mihos will get a Jeep. This Massachusetts high net-worth divorce battle is far

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