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Recent ruling could affect high asset divorces

On Behalf of | May 4, 2022 | Property Division

In New York, there are many people who have done well in life and have accrued significant assets. That could be through building a business, being successful at their job, via inheritances or from a variety of other ways. With that will come the benefits of success such as vacation homes, luxury items and collectibles.

When people in this financial situation get a divorce, the details of property division can be complicated. Often, it results in dispute with endless back and forth as to how the case will be handled. The result could hinge on the court itself and how it views the case. A recent decision could impact high-asset divorces and people in this situation should understand it from the outset.

Ruling might end strategic venue changes

Wealthy people who are getting a divorce have often tried to navigate the case to advantage themselves and maximize their share of the property. To do that, they have used their vacation address – often in high-end areas – as their main address. In doing so, they seek judges who might be agreeable to the perspective of the wealthier spouse. Many times, the cases are heard in Suffolk County. That may be about the change if a recent appellate court decision is any indication.

In the case, a real estate developer was divorcing a former New Jersey judge. The real estate developer wanted the case heard in Suffolk County, but it was heard in Manhattan instead. This was due to their vacation property in Southampton not being categorized as their primary residence. To combat the attempt to move the case to Suffolk, it was asserted that the couple spent much of its time in a condominium near Central Park.

The couple had been married for 35 years. They have three daughters. The court stated that the vacation home was just that and they did not stay there enough to make it a primary residence. The objective is to promote fairness and end the concept of people who have more money being granted greater influence. This could have a profound influence how high-asset cases are decided.

Experienced advice

Regardless of the financial circumstances, it is important for those in the middle of a high-asset divorce to be fully shielded. That is true from the perspective of the person who has the bulk of the assets and the spouse who did not. Discussing the case and being prepared is imperative. Having one-on-one service with representatives who care and pay strict attention can make the difference in reaching an acceptable and fair result.