In high-asset divorce cases, the best solutions may not be the obvious ones. What happens when marital assets include a family business or complex real estate holdings?
“Less experienced family lawyers will say, ‘We’ve got to split this 50-50,’” notes Terese Paletta, partner at Peterson Paletta Attorneys & Counselors. “You need attorneys with the creativity and business acumen to know that there are other ways of fashioning an equitable financial arrangement.”
Drawing on expertise in accounting, real estate, and business, the family law team at Peterson Paletta specializes in high-asset divorce and takes a creative and personalized approach to every case.
“The strategies we use in each case are different because every situation is different,” says Partner Kevin Peterson. “Family law is about individuals.”
Attention to detail is always at the core, Paletta says, which is essential in high-asset divorce cases: “You can’t miss a thing. You can’t incorrectly apply either the law or the figures to the various aspects of a complicated financial estate.”
If necessary, you also have to be ready to go to trial. While settlement is usually preferred for the sake of family harmony, cases with millions of dollars at stake sometimes have no other option. Few family law attorneys, Peterson notes, are also experienced litigators.
“Attorneys who don’t feel confident in their litigation skills will often back down in a negotiation,” Paletta says. “They don’t know how to get evidence presented, they don’t know how to run a trial, and so they won’t risk going to trial.”
But while high-asset cases require sophisticated business acumen, they are still about family. Peterson and Paletta remain steadfastly committed to guiding clients compassionately through what can be the most pivotal and emotionally charged experience in their lives.
“We have the expertise of a large firm but with the personal service and energy of a small firm,” Peterson says. “I think we’ve discovered a way to combine the two, which is not easily done.”
Of utmost importance is ensuring clients feel comfortable asking questions and participating in the process. After all, the attorneys get to move on when a case is resolved, but the families will be living with the results far into the future.
“Our job is not just to give the best advice for right now,” Paletta says. “Years from now we want you to still be able to see the benefits.”