How are the issues of property division more complex in high asset divorce cases?

Minneapolis attorney Scott Benson of Briol & Associates discusses how when a husband and wife own a business together and then get divorced it can get complicated.

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Transcript:

Well, in high asset divorce cases, there just are usually more assets, and so it does add some complexity to the issue. The most complex cases are those involving a valuation of a business where the husband and wife each own a portion of the business. And either the business might have to be sold or the interest of one spouse or the other will have to have a value placed upon it so that they get their share of that business upon the dissolution of the marriage. 

But there’s other complications and issues that arise in high asset divorces that don’t arise in others. For example, there might be a trust in place for one spouse or the other, and are the assets in that trust available to the other spouse? Are they marital property or not marital property? There are also marital tracing issues that can be involved. Was the property at issue something that was owned by one spouse or the other prior to their marriage? Was it something they received by will, that they inherited, which would make it not a marital asset? Or is this property rightly considered a marital asset? And the more assets there are, the more complications there are in tracing those assets. 

Finally, there could be an estate plan that enters into the picture in high asset divorce cases, and how that estate plan is to distribute assets may affect how many assets are available to the spouse. And so all of those types of things add additional complications in high asset divorce cases.