Why High Net-Worth Divorces Can Be Particularly Challenging for Children

Posted by Joseph D. Lento | Aug 18, 2023 | 0 Comments

Divorces are often dramatic. Friends, family members, and especially children are often forced to take sides, only to have their choice scrutinized by busybodies who hypothesize on mere gossip. Divorces involving celebrities, prominent figures, and high net-worth couples are especially challenging as they tend to play out on a larger if not a national stage. These matters can have drastic effects on the couple's children who already face unique challenges and responsibilities.

The Costner Contentious Child Support Battle

As reported in an article published by Fox News in May of 2023, Christine Baumgartner filed for divorce from her husband and famous Yellowstone actor, Kevin Costner. The former couple's divorce has been messy, to say the least, and has been plagued most significantly by ongoing feuds regarding Costner's child support obligations. Although both parties requested joint custody of their three children, Baumgartner requested a whopping $248,000.00 a month from Costner in child support. This figure garnered significant media attention, exposing the couple's lifestyle that their three children had come accustomed to over the years. While the couple's dispute continues in the California court system, it calls to mind the impact that high-net-worth divorces can have on a couple's children.

Challenges Unique to High Net-Worth Divorces


High net worth divorces refer to dissolution proceedings that involve a couple with significant assets such as multiple properties, companies, intellectual property rights, copyrights, etc. Because there are more assets for the court to divide, these divorces often take longer to be finalized and require additional experts and forensic accountants. Some assets such as heirlooms, stocks, or artwork may also be hidden and difficult to find. In instances where one spouse is more financially vulnerable and the primary caretaker for the children, hidden assets can deprive children of funds they otherwise would have otherwise been able to eventually access.

Lifestyle Changes

High-net-worth families may be accustomed to a luxurious lifestyle which often comes with the perks of living in large homes, attending exclusive schools, enjoying luxurious vacations, and participating in costly activities. During a divorce, these privileges might be scaled back or significantly altered, which can be unsettling for the children who are already processing their parents' separation.

Future Planning Concerns

High net worth divorces often involve complex financial arrangements, such as trusts, inheritances, and business interests. Because some of these assets can be dissolved, divided, or lost due to litigation fees, what once was promised as future financial security for the children can disappear overnight.

How to Help Your Children in This Season

Even if your family has significant assets and opportunities for your children, a divorce will likely be a painful adjustment for them to process. While you may want to be their support system during this difficult time, they likely need to process things with a trusted adult who is outside of the situation. Finding a counselor or a therapist who has experience helping children process change can make all the difference.

A Compassionate Family Law Attorney Who Is on Your Side

If your high-net-worth divorce is exposing your family to unwanted gossip and public exposure, your children are likely suffering. Because your divorce will likely take longer than normal to finalize, it's important to work with a compassionate and highly experienced Family Law Team early on. No case is too difficult and we are here to help you navigate complexities such as asset division, child custody, child support, and alimony. We're here to fight for your family. Contact us today by calling (888) 535-3686 or by using our online contact form.

About the Author

Joseph D. Lento

"I pride myself on having heart and driving hard to get results!" Attorney Joseph D. Lento is a veteran of one of the nation's busiest family courts with nearly 20 years' experience passionately helping families. By day, he worked in the trenches of family court, and at night, he studied the law. He helped countless families while working at family court, and he went on to become an attorney, dedicating his law practice to continuing the work he started years earlier. Mr. Lento's experience both behind the scenes and on the front lines allows him to understand a client's family law matter from all angles, and allows him to find and employ the most effective strategies to get favorable outcomes for any client. Joseph D. Lento is licensed in New Jersey and New York, and is admitted pro hac vice as needed nationwide. In the courtroom and in life, attorney Joseph D. Lento stands up when the bell rings! He does not settle for the easiest outcome, and instead prioritizes his clients' needs and protects their interests.


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