Complex Divorce Litigation in Michigan
Divorce is never easy, but some divorce cases are more complicated than others. When you’re facing complicated disputes over custody of your children, division of marital assets, ownership of a family business, or ongoing support, it’s important to have the right advocates in your corner. Not every attorney who handles simple divorce cases has the knowledge and experience to successfully manage a complex divorce case.
At Smith Bovill, our attorneys have the combination of divorce, litigation, financial, and business experience necessary to handle all aspects of complex divorce litigation
What is a Complex Divorce Case?
A divorce case may be considered complex for any one of several reasons, each of which may require the divorce attorney to perform a deeper and more detailed analysis, work with expert witnesses, or engage in more extensive litigation than is required in the typical divorce case.
Some common examples of complex divorce issues include:
High Asset Divorces with Disputed Property Division
When a divorcing couple has substantial assets, reaching a fair settlement or litigating property division can be complicated. For example, the parties may:
- disagree as to the value of assets
- attempt to establish that some assets should be treated as separate property
- conflict over whether property such as real estate should be sold
- accuse one another of dissipation of assets or concealing assets
In these types of cases, attorneys are generally required to gather and construct detailed financial and property records, and often work with expert witnesses to establish the value of assets, locate missing assets, or simply prove that assets have been moved out of the marital estate.
In a high asset divorce, parties often own property such as real estate, stocks, and other investment property than cannot be easily and immediately reallocated without losing value. In such cases, attorneys must be prepared to set forth an evidence-based argument for the disposition most favorable to the client, whether that means sale of the property, a buy-out, structured payments over time, or continued joint ownership with a neutral manager.
Family Owned Businesses in Divorce
When a divorcing couple owns a business together, or shares ownership of a business with others, the division of ownership of that business may be extremely complicated. Even if only one spouse directly owns the business, its value—or part of its value–may be included in the marital estate. This analysis may be especially complicated when one spouse owned the business before the marriage, but the company has substantially increased in value during the marriage.
Reaching a resolution that will allow the business to continue to operate while providing each spouse with his or her fair share, or which will allow one spouse to cash out of the business without liquidation, can be difficult. When the parties cannot agree on a resolution, it may be necessary to litigate disposition of the business.
Complicated or Contentious Child Custody Issues
Many divorcing parents are able to reach an agreement with regard to custody and visitation issues. However, when custody is in dispute, the case can be much more complex. For example, custody disputes can be particularly complex and contentious when one parent wishes to relocate with the child.
Other complex custody cases may involve allegations that one parent presents a danger to the child, due to abuse, addiction, or other serious issues. In such cases, investigation beyond the standard custody assessment may be required. This may include psychological evaluations, introduction of medical records, and other evidence.
Work with an Experienced Complex Divorce Litigation Attorney
When your divorce case involves extensive assets, business ownership, hidden assets, a contentious custody dispute, or any other complicated issue, it is in your best interests to work with attorneys who are experienced in the management of complex divorces and prepared to thoroughly assess, investigate, and prepare your case.
You can schedule a consultation with a Smith Bovill divorce attorney right now. Just call us at (989) 792-9641 (Saginaw) or (989) 652-9923 (Frankenmuth). Or, fill out our contact form and we’ll get in touch with you.