It is common for married couples with significant assets to create tax shelters, either in the United States or overseas. These shelters may be in the form of shell companies set up to show short-term losses or investment products designed to delay taxes until retirement or early withdrawal. In the event of divorce, the value of the investment must be characterized as either separate or marital property and subject to equitable distribution under New York marital property laws.Appreciation of Assets and Transmutation of Assets
In property division cases where one party brought significant financial worth into the marriage, the tax shelter may have already been established and is often protected by a prenuptial agreement. Any assets that are added to the investment or used to enhance the shelter during the course of the marriage are considered commingled assets — or transmutation of assets — and will be characterized as marital property. This includes the current and future appreciation of the investment and tax savings realized from the shelter. When considering the division of assets, determining the extent of transmutation and the full appreciation in value of the investment requires knowledge of complex financial issues.
At the firm of Jonathan D. Katz, Attorney at Law, I work with forensic accountants and financial experts to investigate the full value of the tax shelter and the extent to which the property should retain its characterization as separate property. If you are an individual with high net worth and are seeking to protect the status of your tax shelter in your settlement, or have a rightful claim to equitable distribution of the property in your settlement, contact my offices in New Paltz, New York, to discuss your situation.
I offer extensive experience representing clients in high net worth divorces involving complex financial issues, including:
- Tax shelters and corporate tax concerns
- Investment accounts, stocks and bonds, IRAs and retirement savings
- Business valuation and characterization of professional practices
- Appreciation of separate property, commingled assets
- Real estate investments
- Marital debt
I am an experienced trial lawyer with more than 25 years of experience negotiating complex financial property settlements. I represent clients throughout the Hudson Valley, the Catskills and the New York City metro region.
Contact me to schedule a consultation before you make decisions about how to handle your tax shelter in your property settlement.