7 Considerations for High Net Worth Divorces

No matter how big your house is or how diverse and flush your portfolio, nothing can prepare you fully for the stress and grief of divorce. The process unleashes powerful emotions and leads to fighting and resentment, even when both parties agree that parting is in their best interest and even when both strive to act ethically and compassionately towards one another. A high net worth divorce – where significant business and personal assets may be at stake – can add an additional emotionally charged element to the process and create unique challenges. Here are some factors to consider.

7 Strategies to Handle Your High Net Worth Divorce Case Strategically

  1. Present Your Attorney with Complete Financial Information.

This means divulging all property, whether owned jointly by you and your spouse or property you claim is your own separate property. Determine which marital assets you want to keep for yourself and which you might agree to give up or split. Sometimes obtaining a full and accurate inventory of what you and the other spouse own can be tough, particularly if your ex handled the household finances. You want to make sure he or she isn’t hiding extra assets in secret accounts, for instance, or understating the value of certain assets, like artwork, cars or business property. Your attorney can help you ensure a complete accounting.

  1. Identify Separate and Community Property.

Distinguish marital property, which you and your spouse acquired together during the course of your marriage, and separate property. If you are claiming property is your separate property, provide documentation confirming your claim.

  1. Understand that Virginia is an Equitable Division State.

Virginia state law requires that marital assets be divided on an equitable basis. This mean in a way that is fair, not necessarily equal. In other words, you don’t have to split your fine china set in two equal halves or break up your jewelry. You just need to create a fair arrangement.

  1. Consider a Collaborative Divorce.

In a collaborative process, you and your spouse will work with trained professionals to assist you in mutually agreeing to divide up your property and settle other aspects of the separation, such as child custody and spousal support. This process provides you more flexibility than going to court and having a judge decide. It is also a private process, shielding your settlement attempts from the public eye.

  1. Utilize Experts to Accurately Value Your Assets.

Your property must be accurately valued in order for you both to agree the settlement is fair. Financial experts often need to be called in to do this detailed assessment correctly. Your situation may involve a family owned business, a professional corporation, stocks and bonds, real estate, retirement pensions and other assets that need to be included in the total financial picture.

  1. Avoid Suspicious Asset Transfers.

Do not transfer any property either shortly before you file for divorce or during the divorce proceedings. Do not even transfer your separate property. Such acts appear suspicious and, in the exercise of its equitable distribution authority, the family law court may penalize you for your actions.

  1. Consider the Tax Effect on Both Parties.

There may be tax advantages for both parties for finalizing the divorce in the current year or the following year. Child support and alimony, if it is awarded, can be structured in a way that gives both parties a tax advantage. Future retirement benefits can be awarded to minimize the tax liability of both parties.

Preparing for Divorce with an Attorney

Contact a divorce attorney from the law firm of Kurylo Gold & Josey. We would be happy to sit down with you to discuss your case and advise you. You can be confident we will do everything possible to help you get your divorce resolved.

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Select Law Partners, PLLC

Legal issues can turn your life upside down. Our experienced attorneys serve clients in a variety of divorce and family law matters as well as criminal defense. To better help you plan for the future, we have significant experience with estate planning and asset protection. At Select Law, we provide our clients with customized solutions to their most challenging problems.

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