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High-net-worth Divorce


Are you facing a high-net-worth divorce in British Columbia? Although divorce is never pleasant, it can become even more challenging when significant assets are involved. Valerie M. Little, an experienced high-net-worth divorce lawyer in British Columbia, can provide legal guidance and support tailored to your unique situation. Contact her today to schedule a consultation.

What Is a High-net-worth Divorce?

A high-net-worth divorce involves couples with substantial assets. They typically involve at least one spouse with over $1 million in assets, including:

  • Businesses;

  • Real estate holdings;

  • Retirement accounts;

  • Pensions;

  • Savings;

  • Trusts;

  • Stocks and other financial investments.

These types of divorces can get complicated especially when one of the spouses is in a higher financial bracket than the other. These cases require specialized legal knowledge to ensure a fair marital asset distribution.

How Are a High Net Worth Spouse’s Financial Needs Assessed in B.C.?

In divorces involving significant wealth, B.C. courts consider accustomed lifestyles which can result in substantial spousal and child support awards and generous property divisions.


If you are the wealthier spouse, your divorce lawyer will meticulously assess your assets and may advocate to safeguard your wealth and business interests and protect you from excessive taxation.


Conversely, if you are the spouse with fewer financial resources, securing the right high-net-worth divorce lawyer ensures equitable treatment and full disclosure of assets by your wealthier partner.


Valerie facilitates complete personal and business financial disclosure to ensure fairness and transparency in the separation process. 

What Is Considered Joint Property?

Joint property in a high net worth divorce typically includes assets acquired during the marriage such as real estate, investments, businesses and other shared assets. Conversely, property and assets, such as inheritances, gifts and assets acquired before the marriage, may be excluded from division after a divorce.

How Are Spousal Support and Child Support Awarded in High-net-worth Divorces?

Established federal child and spousal support guidelines do not fully capture the complexities of high net worth divorces. Consequently, courts in B.C. often deviate from these guidelines due to financial disparities. 


For instance, a spouse’s income may be deceptively low on the surface due to significant, undisclosed corporate income. Conversely, the divorce itself could negatively impact a spouse’s earning potential, mainly if they were previously involved in a family-owned business and can no longer participate.


Valerie will ensure the parties are presented with an accurate and transparent financial picture and advocate for a fair and equitable agreement for both parties.

How Is Business Valuation Done in a High-net-worth Divorce?

In high net worth divorces, business evaluation involves:


  • Engaging forensic accountants to assess financial data and assets;

  • Employing methods like income, market and asset approaches to determine worth;

  • Scrutinizing financial statements, tax returns and cash flow statements;

  • Evaluating tangible assets, intellectual property and liabilities;

  • Producing a detailed valuation report as a basis for negotiation or court proceedings.


Each spouse should agree upon a joint expert, whether it is a commercial appraiser or business valuator. with the court ultimately making decisions based on the evidence they present. If you are a business owner filing for divorce, Valerie will advocate for a fair and equitable division of the business which may allow you to continue to operate the business post-divorce.

How Can a Lawyer Protect Your Interests in a High-net-worth Divorce?

In a high net-worth divorce, a lawyer can help by:


  • Figuring out ways to pay less tax on what you own or give to your ex spouse;

  • Finding the right professionals to value your business fairly so you do not end up overpaying; 

  • Getting accounting advice on how to deal with the money you make from your business; 

  • Helping you understand your business finances to use them to your advantage; 

  • Arguing whether certain retained earnings should be taken into account when deciding how much support to pay; 

  • Making sure your ex cannot keep asking for financial support after you have died; 

  • Negotiating a one-time payment to end financial ties after the divorce; 

  • Determining how much spousal support you should pay and how to save on taxes; 

  • Protecting your reputation during the divorce. 


As an experienced high net worth divorce lawyer, Valerie can help you protect your interests by providing strategic legal advice, negotiating fair settlements and advocating for your rights in court.

Trusted High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer in B.C.

If you are a business owner navigating a high net worth divorce in British Columbia, you can trust Valerie M. Little Law Corporation to provide you with the support you need. Contact Valerie today to schedule a consultation and protect your assets and future.

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