White Plains Attorney Manages Divorces for High-Net-Worth Clients

Wealthy couples face unique issues in divorce

With so much at stake in a high-net-worth divorce, it is particularly important that property division and support issues be handled with close attention to detail. Lauren B. Abramson, Esq. is meticulous as she assists you with the full range of legal and financial matters involved in a high-net-worth divorce, including the division and protection of:

  • Investment accounts
  • Real estate holdings
  • Business assets
  • Retirement accounts
  • International assets

Can I transfer any assets after the divorce action is filed?

Under the New York Domestic Relations Law, five court orders limiting spouses’ ability to transfer assets automatically take effect the moment a divorce complaint is served. The orders remain in effect throughout the divorce action unless they are terminated or modified by the court. Those orders are:

  • Neither party can sell, transfer, encumber, conceal, assign, remove or in any way dispose of any property — including real estate, personal property, cash accounts, stocks, mutual funds, bank accounts, cars and boats — that is individually or jointly held by the parties.
  • Neither party can transfer, encumber, assign, remove, withdraw or in any way dispose of any tax-deferred funds, stocks or other assets held in any individual retirement accounts, 401(k) accounts, profit-sharing plans, Keogh accounts or any other pension or retirement account, and the parties must not request the payment of retirement benefits or annuity payments of any kind. (A party who is already receiving such payments may continue to do so.)
  • Neither party can incur unreasonable debts, including further borrowing against any credit line secured by the family home, further encumbering any assets or unreasonably using credit cards or cash advances against credit cards.
  • Neither party can remove the other party or the children of the marriage from any existing medical, hospital or dental insurance coverage, and each party must maintain any such existing coverage.
  • Neither party can change the beneficiaries of any existing life insurance policies, and each party must maintain any existing life insurance, automobile insurance, homeowner and renter insurance policies.

To transfer any property that falls under these automatic court orders before the divorce is final, you must get the written consent of your spouse or a court order. The only exceptions to the ban on reducing assets and increasing debt are:

  • Expenses incurred in the normal course of business
  • Usual household expenses
  • Attorney’s fees incurred in the divorce action

The attorney and staff at the law offices of Lauren B. Abramson help you determine what financial transactions are permissible while your divorce is pending.

Do I have to disclose all of my assets and income?

The New York Domestic Relations Law contains a compulsory financial disclosure provision that applies to any divorce in which alimony, maintenance or support is at issue. The law requires each spouse to provide a sworn statement of net worth that shows the amount by which total assets (including income) exceed total liabilities (including fixed financial obligations).

The financial statement must include all income and assets of any kind, regardless of where they are situated. The statement also must include a list of all assets that were transferred during the preceding three years or during the marriage, whichever is shorter. Attorney Lauren Abramson appreciates the sensitivity of your financial information, and works diligently to protect your interests.

Are any assets exempt from the property division process?

Under New York law, marital property is subject to division between the spouses, but separate property is not. The Domestic Relations Law defines marital property as all property acquired by either or both spouses during the marriage. If the spouses have entered into a separation agreement, any property acquired before the agreement was signed is marital property.

The Domestic Relations Law defines separate property as any property a spouse acquired before the marriage or identified as separate property in a valid prenuptial, postnuptial or separation agreement. Property acquired during the marriage is separate property only if it was acquired:

  • By inheritance
  • As a gift from someone besides the other spouse
  • As compensation for personal injuries
  • In exchange for separate property (or in exchange an increase in value of separate property)

An increase in value of a separate property becomes marital property to the extent that the appreciation resulted from the contributions or efforts of the other spouse.

Contact our White Plains lawyer about your high-stakes divorce

With more than 25 years of experience, Lauren B. Abramson, Esq. protects your interests during your divorce. We serve clients throughout Westchester and Putnam counties. Our office is across from Saxon Woods Park, between the Hutchinson River Parkway and the New England Thruway. Call us today at 914-908-6829 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.