Filmmaker Michael Moore in high-asset divorce

On behalf of Jeffrey N. Greenblatt of Joseph, Greenwald & Laake, PA posted in Property Division on Friday, June 20, 2014.

The end of a marriage is not an easy event to begin, go through or finalize. This is especially true for high profile or wealthy couples. A high asset divorce often means a complex dissolution. Whether they cannot agree on the distribution of assets and property or financial support, it is important that divorcing spouses address the details of these issues.

Couples in Maryland may know controversial filmmaker Michael Moore for his outspoken stance on a number of hot-button political issues, as well as his highly successful string of feature films, documentaries and books. But Moore has been in the news again lately because of a personal issue, his divorce.

Moore has been married to his wife, Kathleen Glynn, for 23 years, during which his career largely took off and netted him several millions of dollars. This amount, and the state of the couple's marital property, will likely be the focus of a brewing legal battle over which spouse walks away with which assets when the divorce is finalized.

Moore and his wife apparently own quite a bit of real estate, including a tremendous lakefront mansion in Michigan, as well as at least eight other substantial properties in New York and elsewhere. Unlike simple property division, in which the spouses may jointly own one single home, Moore's divorce will require the parties to divvy up many different pieces of property across multiple states.

When it comes to splitting up real estate between spouses, there are many ways to proceed. Since real estate prices tend to fluctuate significantly, assessing the actual value of the property isn't always cut and dry. There is also the question of the disposition of the houses. The couple could decide that they want to liquidate some of their real estate assets in order to free up cash, but there could be significant tax considerations that might result in a large portion of these proceeds going towards capital gains taxes.

If the couple decides to keep their real estate holdings and split their portfolio, Moore and Glynn may have some concerns about paying for the upkeep of multiple properties that make this option less appealing. These details should not go overlooked because if they fail to address them, they might have to return to court to iron out these issues.

In Maryland, each spouse is entitled to an equitable share of the marital property, but there are many ways to get to that middle ground. Divorcing spouses with significant assets need the experience of a divorce attorney who can help them reach a property division settlement that suits their needs, not just for the present, but the foreseeable future as well.

Source: Fox 411 "Director Michael Moore enmeshed in vicious divorce," June 8, 2014