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Olympic skier Lindsey Vonn's divorce causes tax woes

Many Arizona residents are familiar with the great success of skier Lindsey Vonn. Vonn is a World Cup and Olympic champion skier. Unfortunately, she has been getting more press lately for her high-asset divorce troubles than for her athletic triumphs. The latest news is that the settlement proceedings somehow caused a tax complication that resulted in a $1.7 million lien.

According to recent news reports, Vonn and her former husband Thomas Vonn owed back taxes to the federal government. Since the lien was issued earlier this month, Lindsey Vonn has reportedly paid the back taxes.

Vonn did not have a prenuptial agreement, and that has likely caused the division of property and assets in this divorce to become quite complicated. While every divorce of course requires the division of some property, and many include child and spousal support orders, divorce cases for those with significant financial assets involve many complex issues.

In Vonn's case, things may become further complicated by the fact that her husband was employed as her coach, and she earned a vast amount of her wealth while the two were married. In cases such as these, an in-depth analysis of assets and income often takes place.

Those with assets such as these are wise to work with divorce attorneys who are experienced in high-net worth divorce. Often, high-asset divorce cases require a certain amount of litigation. However, many financial issues can be negotiated beforehand with the use of professionals such as forensic accountants and business appraisers. High net-worth divorce attorneys will also often utilize a private mediator for these conversations.

Many of these issues can also be avoided by developing a sound prenuptial agreement prior to marriage. However, it is very important to work with experienced professionals when drafting a prenuptial agreement to ensure it both meets your interests and will hold up in court.

Source: USA Today, "Lindsey Vonn owes $1.7 million in back taxes," April 15, 2012


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