High-asset divorcees face unique challenges

by | Jun 13, 2014 | Firm News, High-Asset Divorce |

While it can certainly make life more comfortable and enjoyable, money can’t buy happiness. As testament to this notion, California residents recently learned that the 18-year marriage of actors Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas has come to end.

Upon filing the divorce papers, Griffith cited irreconcilable differences as justification. A source close to the couple revealed the two had fallen out of love with one another and that there was no third-party involvement. As the couple, whose combined wealth is said to be around $50 million, move towards finalizing their divorce, several issues must be worked out.

Banderas is said to be “shrewd businessman” who has invested his millions wisely. As a result, the couple owns businesses and properties in numerous locales including Spain, New York, Los Angeles and Miami. The process of valuing and determining who will retain ownership rights of the couples’ homes, businesses and properties will likely be a complex and lengthy process.

The couple also has a 17-year-old daughter together and Griffith has requested that she be awarded full physical child custody. While neither Griffith nor Banderas are novices when it comes to divorce, after 18 years of marriage, their divorce from one another will present unique emotional and financial challenges.

Couples of considerable wealth not only have more assets, but these assets are often also highly diversified. As a result, special considerations related to market values, tax implications and illiquid assets must be taken into consideration. Additionally, wealthy husbands and wives are also more likely to attempt to hide assets from an estranged spouse. When planning to divorce, wealthy individuals would be wise to seek out an attorney who has handled other high-net worth divorces.

Source: The Daily Mail, “Melanie Griffith and Antonio Banderas’ ‘$50M divorce’: Estranged couple are ‘worth more than you think’ with homes all over the world,” Shyam Dodge, June 11, 2014