Deciding to get a divorce is not easy. It is a difficult process wherein you will have to make tough decisions that will determine your future life. However, divorce is much more than the emotional and mental distress it can cause to a person. This can be the case even when it is a high net worth divorce. Hence, it’s important to be completely prepared for everything you may have to face due to ending such a marriage. An experienced divorce attorney at Brighter Day Law can help you with your divorce process.
What is a High Net Worth Divorce?
A high net worth divorce can be an outcome of a couple of situations. The very first scenario is when a person enters a wedding with a high net worth individually. Both partners could also be wealthy. However, the regulations may apply even if only one partner’s net worth is high.
Another case could be when the couple, together or individually, made a fortune after they got married. Again, it could be a shared asset or an individual’s efforts solely. The basis of explaining this is that if either partner has a high net worth at the time of the divorce, it will be classified under this category and catered to similarly.
How is it Different from a Regular Divorce?
The reason behind understanding such a high net worth divorce is that it is quite different from a typical divorce case. While most of the basic proceedings remain similar, it can worsen with the increasing amount of assets involved. Here are some of the many ways a high net divorce is different from a regular one.
It is usually estimated to be prolonged in comparison to a typical divorce. Although this depends on the amount of money involved, the more property and assets you have, the more complicated it will be to divide them in an equal or equitable manner.
Since a high net worth divorce generally requires more time, it is also more expensive than a regular one. The lawyer fees may increase, depending on your needs. Additionally, you may have to pay for certain additional legal procedures included in the process.
While child custody and alimony are part of any divorce setting, it will be more complicated to deal with a high net worth divorce.
Common Divorce Concerns
As stated above, several things remain the same for every divorce case. However, some added concerns may make things difficult in a high net worth divorce. Hence, it is better to be prepared for them beforehand.
If you and your partner have children, child custody, and child support can make the divorce process even more complicated. Since you and your partner are earning more than average income, you are required to give your child a certain level of care. This is because the divorce should not affect the routine of a child. So, if your children were getting certain privileges before the divorce, they will be entitled to those even if they end up living with the dependent parent after the divorce.
Another concern that a person may have in such a divorce is related to the authenticity of a prenuptial agreement (if there was one in the first place). A prenup is an agreement signed by both parties before marriage, in which they agree on certain assets to be the sole property of one partner. If you and your partner did sign such a contract, it would be considered at the time of the divorce. However, a prenup is not written in stone and can be changed, depending on the situation.
Property division is another major concern because of the complexity of determining what is community property. You may feel that dividing two properties that you own could be as easy as having one for each partner. However, there are several other factors involved, which will determine how the process should go further. Hence, it is always advised to consult with an attorney and understand the procedure better.
How to Address Your Divorce Concerns
Now that you have a basic understanding of how a high net worth divorce can be more complicated than a typical divorce, it is essential to have an idea as to how you should address your concerns. One thing that you need to keep in mind is that your case is unique. Hence, you will need specific guidance moving forward to ensure a fair decision by the court. Here are some steps you should follow to address your concerns.
You need to consult a lawyer the moment you decide that you want to get divorced. Being prepared will give you time to understand the divorce’s intricacies and how to address them in your favor.
While a lawyer can help you with the legal procedures, you also should talk to your accountant. This will help you realize the tax consequences, no matter which side you are on.
Furthermore, make sure you have all the legal documents intact. Litigation processes give great importance to records, and so, to make your case stronger, you should have access to any document that may be considered important for your case.
Lastly, if you are a dependent partner, we would advise you to invest in knowing all the assets beforehand. There is a high chance that your spouse has hidden assets that you are entitled to but certainly unaware. By doing so, you will understand your position better and have a stronger case.
Common Mistakes in a High Net Worth Divorce
Such divorce cases may get more complicated because of the mistakes that either or both partners make on their end. Not only should you know the procedure, but also the common mistakes that to avoid at all costs.
Hiding Your Assets
If you are the high earning spouse, it would be a huge mistake to attempt hiding assets at the time of the divorce. You have a greater chance of preserving your assets if you follow the legal procedure. However, if you try to transfer a certain amount to someone else, it will most likely be caught in the court, and you will lose your credibility in front of the judge.
Agreeing to Everything or Refusing it All
You need to understand that taking any extreme route will bring no good to your case. Even if you feel like you need to get done with the divorce at your earliest, agreeing to everything is not the solution. It could have lifelong consequences, which you may not think about at this point. Similarly, not knowing where to compromise could make things worse. In such a situation, consult with your lawyer to try to cut a deal that works best for you.
Relying on Anecdotal Incidents
The divorce rate in the US is very high, due to which you can have a loved one, who, at some point, is facing the situation you are in right now. Talking to them can help you cope with the trauma and emotional distress. However, taking legal advice from them may not be the right thing. When it comes to a high net worth divorce, every case is significantly different. It is best to get professional advice moving forward.
Start Preparing for Your High Net Worth Divorce Today
If you are in a situation where divorce is the only resort, and either one or both of you have a high net worth, we would suggest that you talk to one of our professional family lawyers. We have years of experience in this field and will make sure that you not only understand your position well but are also able to get a fair deal out of it.