High Net Worth

Meeting the Needs of High Net Worth and High-Income Clients

Family conflicts leading to marital dissolution, custody disputes and problems after divorce can all be personally overwhelming, and divorces involving significant assets and income are even more complex. The attorneys at Woodruff Family Law Group respond with dedicated advocacy and sophisticated handling of all issues of importance to their high net worth and income clients, falling into three main categories: Equitable Distribution, Child Custody, and Spousal Support. There may be secondary issues with your individual high net worth or high-income situation.

Equitable Distribution of Property

High net worth divorces are complicated because the involved parties often share accounts, business assets, investments, real estate and other high-value assets. This is why you need a competent divorce attorney to consider carefully how property and assets should be separated; which are marital and the appropriate value of each. The more substantial and complex the family’s assets, the more challenges there are to overcome and the more opportunities for dispute. Careful preparation and accounting are critical elements to avoiding disputes that can lengthen the divorce process. Accounting and valuation are not simple tasks, but it is one the divorce attorneys at Woodruff Family Law Group have extensive experience handling.

We handle divorces and division of property involving a broad range of complex assets:

  • Closely held businesses, including S and C Corporations and LLCs
  • Partnerships
  • Investments
  • Family businesses
  • Stock options, IRAs, Profit Sharing Plans
  • 401ks, 403bs, pensions and other defined contribution plans
  • Qualified Domestic Relations Orders
  • Real estate holdings and investments
  • Separate property holdings
  • Inheritance and gifts
  • Assets acquired before your marriage
  • Divisible Property

We work closely with clients in negotiating complex property division agreements that protect their individual assets and minimize potential tax liabilities. We also frequently work with the tax attorneys and CPAs to our high net worth clients. We provide discretion in all aspects of our representation, whether clients are involved in the negotiation, mediation, arbitration, collaborative law, or divorce litigation. We are, of course, confidential.

Child Support

In North Carolina, appropriate child support is calculated using a state-designated formula. It determines the amount of child support needed to raise a child based on the mother’s and father’s income, the percentages of time the children spend with each parent, childcare expenses, and any other expenses that may exist. When a family falls within the income guidelines of the state, calculating child support is simple. However, if the combined gross income of both parties is greater than $25,000 per month, the case is then considered a non-guideline child support case. We will work to represent your interests, and those of your children, related to child custody, child support, and parenting plans. We understand the risk of determining child support in flow-through entities where income may not equal cash flow from a business. Flow-through entities, such as an S Corporation, have substantial risk for an incorrect determination of support issues.

Spousal Support

Some high net worth divorces involve one spouse paying post-separation support and alimony to the other spouse. In North Carolina, a spouse may receive alimony if he/she is deemed to be dependent upon the other party for maintenance and support. To receive alimony, the dependent spouse must show that he/she doesn’t have adequate resources to support his/her needs and that the other spouse is financially capable of paying the alimony. Unlike child support, there is not a precise formula for alimony. Thus, an alimony determination correlates to the amount the dependent spouse needs to live on, and the amount the supporting spouse has left over after paying his/her expenses.

If you’re a high net worth or high-income individual, speak with one of our attorneys as early in the process as possible. You will want to receive proactive advice and perspective on spending habits and lifestyles that affect spousal support. Discuss the factors influencing how your property will be divided. How will your children will be shared? What are the factors in your child support determination?

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Carolyn Woodruff is a caring bulldog.
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Contact Us: 336.272.9122
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