Advocacy that Matters.
And we know what life is like as medical professional. Divorce isn’t easy for anyone. For medical professionals, it’s especially necessary to work with a legal team that truly understands every nuance of your situation and all that is at play. We understand, through extensive experience, the mechanics of divorces like yours. We know how unmanageable your schedule may seem, the expectations others have of you, and that you place on yourself. We have answers to all the questions you may not think to ask. When you work with the team at Kathleen M. Newman Family Law you’re getting just that: a whole group of highly productive and knowledgeable professionals committed to advocating for your rights.
In Minnesota, a medical practice established during a marriage is considered a marital asset and is subject to valuation and division. Valuation experts are retained to provide the court with the current fair market value of the practice. The valuation will take into consideration the practice’s goodwill value, receivables and the value of the hard assets, including any ownership interest in the building that houses the medical practice. That value will be added to the physician’s asset list, and the other spouse will be entitled to receive assets of equal value.
We’ve worked with several physician and other high-asset clients who are surprised to learn that at the end of their divorce they are left only with their illiquid interest in their practice (or business). Feeling as though investments, homes and retirement accounts are lost, combined with the obligation to pay permanent spousal maintenance, can be overwhelming. Working with a trusted, supportive legal team can help.
One of the first things to tackle when working through divorce preparation is management and protection of your assets. We often see physicians and other high-worth individuals making common mistakes in a flurry of family and financial uncertainty. Trust our experienced team to help you avoid common mistakes.
It’s important to make a complete inventory of all assets and liabilities in your name, your spouse’s name, and that are held jointly. This complete list will help prevent any surprises as we go through the process. It also will help us ensure you’re getting the right tax advice from an expert in that field who can help you sort through and consider any and all tax consequences related to the divorce.
We know that going through a divorce is a highly emotional time for all involved. As your trusted team of advisors and counsel, we will help the proceedings stay fair and focused. Being too generous with shared assets is not a way to win back a spouse, nor is the legal system the place to take out any hard feelings created by years of emotional strain. Often, there is only one opportunity to thoroughly handle the financial and familial issues brought up by a divorce: patience may run thin, but you should be prepared to carefully weigh the long-term implications of each decision reached.
What to Expect from Alimony and Custody Discussions
One of the best ways to avoid issues regarding spousal maintenance is to have a prenuptial agreement in place. Of course, the absence of a prenup does not necessarily mean a long and arduous divorce; we can still help you manage the proceedings in a calm and dignified manner.
Many Minnesota medical professionals earn substantial incomes and have a spouse who primarily supports the family by staying home. In these situations, the stay-at-home spouse will invariably be seeking spousal maintenance as part of the divorce settlement. The court will look at several factors including the length of the marriage, the income of the physician and the probability of the stay-at-home spouse returning to the work force, before deciding on an alimony amount. In certain long-term marriages, there is a possibility that the court will order permanent spousal maintenance, which continues until death or remarriage of the supported spouse.
For medical professionals with children, deeply personal discussions around parenting are often the most difficult aspects of the divorce process. Most reasonable people understand that a physician’s profession comes with certain demands that are often comprised of long hours and unpredictable schedules. We also know that meeting these demands and being a successful parent can feel impossible after a divorce. It’s vital that you thoughtfully and realistically assess where you can be flexible, what changes you’re willing to make (both professionally and personally), and what’s truly best for your children before you decide what type of custody agreement to seek. You will certainly be asked to explain how you will accommodate any additional time with kids that you didn’t have while married. It’s not uncommon to have strong feelings of guilt or regret when working through custody; so prepare yourself the best you can.
Kathy Newman has more than 35 years of experience in high-asset divorce and family law issues faced by physicians throughout the Twin Cities area. Kathy and her team understand the applicable laws and legal nuances involved, and welcome the opportunity to support you through the process.