Patrick Dempsey, best known for his starring role on Gray's Anatomy, is getting divorced from his spouse, Jillian Fink, and the couple has listed their home (dubbed the “McDreamy McMansion”) for sale and are asking for $14.5 million for the residence.
While this is a far more expensive marital home than most couples can even dream of affording, it does illustrate some of the complexities in dealing with high wealth divorces in Alabama and across the United States.
According to a recent news article from The Daily News, the couple has been married for 15 years. Fink is a make-up artist and also a well-known jewelry designer. The couple purchased the mansion around six years ago for $7 million. It is approximately 6,000 square feet and was constructed in 1972. While the couple lived there, they used the property to operate a farm and raised their three children.
For reasons not fully explained, media outlets are connecting the couple's recent decision to obtain a divorce as being connected with Dempsey's character on Gray's Anatomy being killed recently, though it should be noted this appears to be nothing more than speculation at this time. It has also been reported the couple did not enter into a prenuptial agreement prior to their lengthy marriage, so the couple's estimated $40 million in marital property is subject to equitable distribution pursuant to divorce laws in their home jurisdiction, which may involve Fink getting an award of a significant amount of the parties joint marital estate.
As our Birmingham divorce attorneys can explain, for couples who have large amounts of assets, including real property, personal property, and intangible investments such as stocks, bonds, and other certificated securities, there may be a significant amount of litigation involved before a settlement is reached or a trial is held, and a family court judge renders a property dissolution order.
In addition to making decisions about who should get what, distribution of certain assets will have significant tax consequences, not only for the party receiving a particular asset, but also the party who is not. For this reason, if you are a party to a marriage with significant assets, you should make sure your attorney has familiarity with dealing with these particular situations and has resources to deal with potential IRS issues. Due to the complexity of these issues, it is often necessary for your attorney to consult with a specialist who regularly handles these types of transactions as part of a high wealth divorce proceeding.
In some cases, it is only necessary to have an outside consultation handle document preparation, and in other cases it will be necessary to have an expert, such as a tax specialist or forensic accounting specialist to trace assets and their respective values. It may also be necessary to have an appraiser perform an independent valuation of any real or personal property. The reason for this is opposing parties will often try to undervalue or overvalue the worth of particular assets to better their position during property dissolution.