Skilled senior High Net Worth Calgary Family Lawyers are invaluable allies when you have a “bet the bank” high stakes spousal and child support and matrimonial and exempt property division case in Calgary. Peter Graburn and Lorne MacLean, QC our senior High Net Worth Calgary Family Lawyers, deftly handle these cases so your income and assets are fairly divided and both spouses move on successfully post separation. Our firm has handled some of the highest property and income cases including obtaining combined child and spousal support of nearly $100,000 monthly.
Keeping your high net worth divorce and high net income support case private also makes sense. If you want to understand how spousal support works in high income cases read our blog on this key topic.
Meet with our Calgary high net worth divorce and family lawyers today at our downtown Calgary office.
High Net Worth Calgary Family Lawyers 403-444-5503
In today’s blog, Peter Graburn our managing Calgary family lawyers office senior associate explains the issues High Net Worth Calgary Family Lawyers deal with after separation and during a divorce.
“High Net Worth Divorce”
Dividing matrimonial property upon divorce in Alberta is easy – right? High Net Worth Calgary Family Lawyers know it gets more complicated when the stakes rise. Protecting companies, professional practices, oil patch ventures and small contracting businesses and your reputation is crucial to a successful outcome.
Generally, divorcing spouses are free to divide their Calgary matrimonial property any way they want (by opting out of the Matrimonial Property Act after obtaining advice from an Alberta Lawyer).
Our senior High Net Worth Calgary Family Lawyers explain to our high net worth family clients that when spouses can’t agree on how to divide their matrimonial property, Alberta’s Matrimonial Property Act says you split matrimonial property “equitably”, or equally in the circumstances, so you just:
- list all the property
- take out the “exempt property”:
- Gifts from other people
- Personal Injury damages
- -Value of property at the time of marriage
- deal with tracing exempt property into current property;
- deal with matrimonial debt:
- Mortgages and Lines of Credit
- Credit Cards
- Tax Debt
- Loans to family, etc.
- and split the rest 50 / 50. Yikes!
Easy, right? But what if you have significant or complex assets – a “high net worth Divorce”? Significant or complex assets may include:
- The Matrimonial Home – the centre of family life
- Cabins, Cottages, and Acreages – with sentimental family value
- Farms – often passed down for generations
- Businesses – either family owned or with partners other than their spouses
- Professional Practices – ie. doctor’s, dentist’s, accountant’s and lawyer’s offices
- Commercial Properties – with tenants or long-term leases
- Stocks and Stock Options – whose value fluctuates or has not yet been realized
- RRSPs, TSFAs, and RRIFs
- Pensions – either defined contribution or defined benefit
- Artwork, fine wines and jewelry
- Intellectual property – ie. patents and trademarks
- Off-shore interests.
Complex Issues For High Net Worth Calgary Family Lawyers
Dealing with significant or complex matrimonial property may often involve:
- Obtaining a valuation or appraisal of the property, including determining the value of:
- – Inventory in a slow economy
- Contracts with suppliers and purchasers
- Appreciating or depreciating assets
- Retained Earnings – income that was not distributed to the owners
- Hiring a forensic accountant to track (or find) complex or hidden property;
- Determining the best date (ie. date of separation vs. current date) to value the property;
- Actually selling the property (if a willing buyer can be found in a reasonable time);
- Minimizing tax consequences of:
- sale of real estate
- stock options;
- capital gains;
- Estate planning – so future generations can benefit from the significant property
Our Savvy High Net Worth Calgary Family Lawyers Negotiate, Mediate, Arbitrate and Litigate
Of course, spouses with significant or complex property may have signed a cohabitation or pre-nuptual agreement dealing with how to separate some, but not all, of their property on divorce. Usually these agreements are helpful in determining how to divide matrimonial property, but sometime they are not (ie. no ILA, oppression, hardship, etc.).
There are many ways to resolve spousal disagreements over the division of significant or complex matrimonial property, including negotiation, mediation, arbitration and Judicial Dispute Resolution (JDR). All these processes are confidential and financial details are not disclosed to the public, unlike the litigation process through the Courts, which is open to the public.
So, is dividing significant or complex matrimonial property on divorce in Alberta easy? No.
Our team of top rated* Calgary High Net Worth and Calgary High Income lawyers can help their clients reach a fair, lasting and confidential division of their significant and complex matrimonial property, providing a stable and reliable economic future for separating spouses and their families. Call Peter today at 403-444-5503.
*Top Choice Award (2014, 2016, 2017 2018, 2019), Top rated reviews on Google, Yelp, threebestrated, lawerratingz.com. Read more about our awards.