High Net Worth Divorce: What To Know

Divorces that include a lot of assets (and debt) may need special handling. Read on and find out more.

How Things are Divided

Your priority is to see what you and your spouse can agree upon on your own regarding assets and debt. Take any agreement immediately to the best divorce lawyer in town and have them look things over for legality and fairness. This can help things get started on a positive and fruitful note.

Know How Your State Decides Divorce

Every state in the US uses either community property or equitable distribution methods for divorce guidelines. However, couples that agree on things (see above) can override those laws if their agreement is fair and legal. Speak with your lawyer about the ways that community property and equitable distribution will affect what happens to your assets and debts.

Community property sees the couple as a community with both being 50% responsible for debts and having 50% ownership of assets. Equitable distribution is not as clear-cut. Each case is unique and based on the entirety of the marital estate. Many judges in equitable distribution states will take into consideration fault in the divorce, future earning ability, child custody, and other issues when dividing property and assets.

Examine Your Prenup

Not everyone has a prenuptial agreement but those that do must abide by it. If the prenup was unfair or had illegal provisions, it can be challenged. Common issues in high-value divorces with prenups include agreements that were coerced, unfair, or that were created without full disclosure of assets.

Get a Good Separation Agreement in Place

The more assets and debt a couple has, the longer the divorce experience can be. That is why you need a good separation agreement in place that will cover and protect you no matter how long the divorce takes. Consider having your legal separation agreement cover these issues:

  • Spousal support (alimony).
  • Child support.
  • Who will reside in the family home and have use of the vehicles.
  • Child custody and visitation.
  • Who will pay the bills.

Bring in Some Experts

You can expect to need more than a divorce lawyer for a high-net-worth divorce. The stakes are much higher so your lawyer may suggest bringing in a private investigator in some cases. That is in case an amicable divorce turns into a litigated divorce. Also, you will likely need a forensic accountant to go through the financial records to ensure that nothing is being hidden or misstated by your spouse. Finally, consider speaking to a financial expert about your future before you agree to any financial provisions.

For more information, contact family lawyers near you.