High-End Assets Can Complicate an Already Expensive Divorce
Even when the parties are prepared to part on the best of terms, divorce is rarely a simple matter. Aside from determining arrangements for child custody and support, the most contested issue in most divorces is the division of property. This is especially true when the divorcing couple must disentangle a number of high-end assets, including houses, cars, boats, jewelry, money in bank accounts, investments, and even businesses.
How Utah Courts Divide Property in Divorce Cases
When one spouse sues the other for divorce, the couple may reach a settlement for the division of their property, which they can then present to a judge for approval. In some cases, the couple may have a prenuptial agreement—that is, a contract signed before the marriage—specifying a particular division of property.
But if the couple does not have such an agreement, or fails to resolve their differences, then a Utah judge will make a final determination regarding the division of the couple’s property. Specifically, Utah divorce law states the judge has the authority to make any necessary orders “for distribution of the property and obligations for debts as is reasonable and necessary.”
Defining “Reasonable and Necessary”
You might think “reasonable and necessary” means the judge must divide all of the couple’s high-end assets 50/50. But that is not always the case. The judge’s job is to ensure the division of property is fair, not necessarily equal. And fairness is something that depends on the specific facts of the case, including:
- the length of the couple’s marriage
- the nature of their assets
- whether there are children involved
- among other facts about the marriage
For example, if the couple was only married for a short time—say, less than one year—before divorcing, a fair division of property might be one that merely restores the couple to their premarital financial state. Conversely, if a couple married 30 years decide to divorce, a 50/50 split may be more equitable.
The judge must also consider how to compensate one spouse for assets that are not easily divisible. It is easy to split a savings account between divorcing spouses 50/50, but one cannot divide a house or a boat so easily. For these types of high-end assets, a judge may award the property to one spouse while awarding the other spouse another asset to offset the loss.
It can also take some time to properly establish the value of marital property in cases involving high-end assets, especially something intangible like a family business. It may be necessary to obtain a professional appraisal so the judge has proper guidance in determining a fair and equitable settlement. This can add to the time and cost of the overall divorce proceedings.
High-End Asset Help for Salt Lake City Divorce Cases
Indeed, divorces are often expensive and time-intensive affairs, especially when significant high-end assets are involved. That is why if you find yourself at the end of a marriage, you need to speak with a Salt Lake City high-end assets divorce lawyer as soon as possible. Contact Jill Coil at the offices of CoilLaw, LLC, to get help with your divorce case right away from a divorce attorney in Salt Lake City. Call us now at (801) 884-3775.