Divorce is a difficult and emotionally draining experience, especially when high-value assets are involved. With family networks, businesses, investments, wealth management strategies, and other financial components at stake in the divorce proceedings, it’s important for divorced couples to consider all of their options before making any drastic decisions.
Regardless if you choose to settle or engage in litigation, there are specific considerations that you must take into account to ensure the fair division of assets and liabilities for both parties involved.
What is Considered a High-Asset Divorce?
A high-asset divorce involves significant assets of different types. This could include financial accounts, investments, real estate or other properties, business interests, and various personal possessions. Therefore, there are unique and complex issues when dissolving the marriage. They also typically involve other considerations, such as spousal support, child support, and tax liability issues.
As such, couples need to be aware of the special attention required for their situation so that everything is correctly managed and accounting for all assets can be as accurate as possible. Doing this ensures each party is fairly compensated according to their contributions toward the marriage.
What Assets Are Not Included in the Divorce?
California is a community property state, meaning that any assets or property obtained during the marriage is considered legally owned by both spouses and must be divided equally in a divorce. This includes all real estate, bank accounts, investments, retirement benefits, and other assets accumulated during the marriage. It’s important to note that it also encompasses all debts the couple incurred.
However, certain assets are exempt. These include inheritances or gifts received during the marriage and property acquired by either spouse before marriage.
Furthermore, a business started before the couple married won’t be considered community property. However, if the other spouse contributed to the growth of the company, then it may be regarded as a marital asset.
How Do I Prepare For a High-Asset Divorce?
Preparing for a high-asset divorce may seem daunting, but there are steps you can take to ensure that the process is as smooth and stress-free as possible. You must have comprehensive documentation of all assets and related information, including saving records related to investments, stocks, bank accounts, real estate holdings, business interests, and any other item with possibly confusing ownership laws. Hiring a forensic accountant may help with this process.
High-Asset Divorce Mistakes
A divorce is stressful, and couples must pay extra attention to avoid costly mistakes. Most commonly, divorcing spouses make the mistake of not fully disclosing all of their financial holdings. Whether intentionally or unintentionally, this omission can lead to accusations of fraud.
Another mistake is underestimating the complexity of these types of divorces. It’s vital that you partner with an experienced lawyer. Our attorneys at Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri will work with you to develop a strategy that protects your interests. Contact us for a free consultation to review your options. We will work diligently to ensure you receive what you are entitled to.
Disclaimer: this article does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter.