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Colorado Legal Group Attorneys

Denver High Net Worth Divorce

A Successful High Net Divorce Starts With Finding The Right Lawyer

Divorce cases most often go wrong because of the attorneys handling the case, and the techniques (or lack of techniques) that are used in the case. We are different from other law firms because we specialize in divorce and family law, know the legal roadblocks, and will guide you through the daunting divorce process with a personalized strategy.

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Divorces involving high net worth couples in Denver can be lengthy, expensive, and emotionally draining.  It is common for high net-worth divorce cases in Denver to last for many months, sometimes years, and cost a fortune as the issues get settled with litigation through the family courts.

However, there is another way.

With the help of the experienced divorce attorneys at Colorado Legal Group, successful resolution of the divorce is possible with a negotiated settlement that works in everybody’s best interests. We have great experience in bringing disputing parties together and working towards settlements that avoid long delays, great expense, and high-stress levels.

Wherever that’s not possible, we are well prepared to defend your best interests aggressively in court but will seek other possibilities first because we believe saving you time and money is in your best interests.

What is considered high net worth?

In the past, a high-net-worth divorce was defined as involving more than one million dollars in net liquid assets. However, nowadays, it’s generally considered to involve many millions of dollars.

Sometimes cases involving future high net worth are also an issue–for example a new business venture that is anticipated to be worth millions in the near future.

Why are High-Asset Divorce cases often more complex?

In general, when there is a high value of assets, property, cash and investments in a divorce case, it is more complex to reach a settlement. It is a fact of life that resolutions are more challenging when there are considerable assets at stake. One partner may want to claim more than the other partner is prepared to let go of. Often high asset divorce cases also involve separate property that needs to be traced, for example an inheritance or property owned before the marriage.

When children are involved, the challenges multiply. Child custody and support issues nearly always become more complex. That is why it is important to have an experienced family law attorney on your side.

Consequences of Attempting to Hide Assets:

In some high-net-worth divorces, one spouse may attempt to hide assets to minimize their share of the marital estate. This unethical behavior can complicate the divorce process and undermine trust between the parties. Hiding assets during a divorce can have serious consequences, both legal and financial. Some of the key consequences include:

  1. Legal Penalties: Courts take asset disclosure during divorce proceedings very seriously. If one spouse is found to have intentionally hidden assets, they could face legal penalties such as fines or even jail time for contempt of court.
  2. Loss of Credibility: Hiding assets undermines the credibility of the spouse attempting to conceal them. This can have a significant impact on their credibility in the eyes of the court, potentially affecting other equitable distribution aspects of the divorce settlement (like child custody and support, property division, and more).
  3. Unequal Distribution: Concealing assets can result in an unfair distribution of marital property. The spouse who is unaware of the hidden assets may end up with less than their fair share, leading to an inequitable outcome.
  4. Compromised Settlement: Discovery of hidden assets can disrupt the divorce settlement process and may lead to renegotiation of the terms. This can prolong the divorce proceedings and increase legal costs for both parties.
  5. Recovery of Assets: Courts have the authority to order the recovery of hidden assets, ensuring that they are included in the division of marital property. This may involve seizing assets, imposing monetary penalties, or adjusting the terms of the settlement to account for the hidden assets.
  6. Loss of Trust: Hiding assets can irreparably damage the trust between divorcing spouses, making it more difficult to reach agreements on other issues such as child custody or spousal support.
  7. Negative Impact on Credit: Concealing assets may involve deceptive financial practices that could impact credit ratings and financial stability in the long term.

Our family lawyers in Denver are skilled at uncovering hidden assets through thorough investigation and discovery processes. Bank accounts, offshore investments, and hidden property are among the common assets that may be subject to scrutiny.

Spousal Support During & After Divorce

Similarly, the subject of spousal support may be difficult to reach agreement on in high net worth cases because one spouse is likely to have a significantly higher income than the other. In many cases, one spouse earns income while the other looks after the home and children, creating complications for both spouses when the relationship breaks down. This can make settlements far more difficult and litigation more likely. 

The courts are often sensitive to the financial dependence that one spouse may have had on the other and the associated impact that a marriage breakdown has on their lifestyle. In these cases, awards of spousal support may be substantial but may be reduced or increased with the help of an experienced lawyer.

Contested Divorce with High Net-Worth Stakes

Contested divorces usually take much longer to resolve than divorces where fewer assets are at stake. They require special skills from your legal representative. Other dedicated professionals may also need to be involved to provide professional opinions or evidence, such as appraisers and business valuators.

As such, your lawyer should be a trained negotiator able to work with a network of professionals to assist with:

  • Tax assessments
  • Forensic accounting (if there are suspected hidden assets)
  • Private investigation
  • Property valuation
  • Business valuation
  • Vocational evaluation

Without a comprehensive approach, you may not be able to optimize the divorce settlement outcomes you desire. Fill out our form or call us at 720-594-7360 to get started with one our our elite denver attorneys.

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Which assets will be divided?

In some divorce cases in Colorado, dividing assets can seem relatively straightforward.

Each spouse in the marriage is considered to have an equal claim to any assets accumulated during the period of the marriage.

So, separate property remains the property of each individual spouse and “marital assets” are split 50-50 down the middle.

“Separate property” is classed as anything obtained before the marriage or given as a gift or inheritance.

So, the standard approach is as follows:
1. Identify the assets (including a determination of whether or not said asset is considered property or not, for example unvested retirement or stock options)
2. Categorize each asset as marital, separate, or a combination of both
3. Value the marital components of each asset
4. Distribute marital assets equally between the parties

However, calculations can become complex when they stretch beyond the marital home and basic investments and savings accounts.

Complexities often arise when attempting to value:

  • Multiple real estate holdings

  • Multiple business holdings

  • Trusts

  • Stock and stock options

  • Proceeds of an inheritance

  • Other income-producing assets

  • Retirement accounts

Each of these assets are likely to be substantial in the case of divorces involving high-net worth individuals. There may also be other assets that are not always easily valued.

Additionally, some assets have different levels of liquidity or transferability. You need a lawyer who understands these potential complexities.

Sometimes an equitable solution is not possible even with the well-intended intervention of lawyers, arbitrators or mediators.

It is then left to the court to decide who owns what and your lawyer will need to make a strong case for each disputed asset.


How can our lawyers help you during a high net worth divorce?

When the stakes are high, as with divorces involving a high value of assets, hiring an experienced divorce attorney to fight for your best interests both in and out of court is essential.

Not every divorce attorney is equipped to manage such cases. If not handled correctly, the outcome can be disastrous for high-net worth individuals.

Our Denver divorce lawyers will help you navigate the complexities of a high-net worth divorce. We are prepared to fight for an equitable settlement out of court. 

If that’s not possible, we’ll aggressively defend your best interests, protect your privacy, and minimize your risks when dividing assets and arranging child custody and support through the Colorado family court system.

Need help with a high net-worth divorce in Denver?

Call Colorado Legal Group at 720.594.7360 or get started with a free case evaluation. 

Denver Divorce Lawyer

Need Help With Divorce?

Life is too short to be anything but happy. Call Colorado Legal Group at 720.594.7360 or get started with a complimentary case evaluation.

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What Our Clients Are Saying

Each and every one of the people at Colorado Legal Group impressed me - not only with their knowledge of family law, but their passion, compassion, attention to detail, and follow-through. They rose to the challenge during one of my most challenging times. And I know they will always be there for me - because when you have children involved, it is always "something". I am confident they can help with my next issue: What is the best way to get a change in custody?
Anita Foster Avatar
Anita Foster
Hannah is great! She has a really good grasp of the law and is extremely helpful. She stays up to date on changes in the laws but also on research surrounding different financial issues and children's issues. Hannah was able to tell me about how the recent changes in the federal tax law may affect maintenance and allowed deductions which was really helpful during the process.
Alexandra Patrizi Avatar
Alexandra Patrizi
For anyone who hasn’t been through a divorce, the whole process can be completely overwhelming. Mr. Crum takes the time to break down each step of your case and makes sure you know exactly what is happening and going to happen when you leave his office. That is great, but the real reason why I am giving him 5 stars is how he handles himself in court. He is amazing in how he communicates to the judge and handles witnesses. If I could give him more than 5 stars I definitely would!
Krista Barnett Avatar
Krista Barnett
I am writing this as a lawyer who has seen David in court many times over the course of more than twenty years. He is always thoroughly prepared and a tenacious advocate for his clients. It is clear, though, that he is not a win at all costs attorney and he always tries to focus on the best outcomes for clients and their child. Oh, and he is killer on cross examination.”
Cynthia Payne Avatar
Cynthia Payne

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