Divorce proceedings are never simple, and high net worth divorces tend to be even more complex and contentious. When couples have several or higher-value assets, they have more disputes to settle and divorce proceedings often become lengthy and spiteful. It is common for people going through a divorce to make rash decisions; however, it is important to remain level-headed during the litigation process and educate yourself on the mistakes to avoid during a high net worth divorce.
Understanding High Net Worth Divorce in California
California recognizes community property in divorce proceedings. This means that property acquired during a marriage is considered community property and should be divided equitably during a divorce proceeding. While this may seem like a straightforward process, there are many intricacies in the law, which is why hiring a divorce attorney who is experienced with high net worth divorce cases is highly recommended.
While your divorce attorney will tackle most of the complicated tasks, there are several mistakes that you want to avoid in order to protect your assets.
1. Don’t Spend Lavishly Before or During the Divorce
There is a misconception that it is wise to indulge prior to a divorce proceeding. This habit often backfires as debts are also accumulated during divorce proceedings and judges can consider selfish spending when making litigation decisions. Contrary to popular belief, increasing your spending prior to the divorce will not increase your alimony payments. You could also end up having to reimburse your spouse for frivolous spending leading up to dissolution proceedings.
2. Don’t Try to Conceal Your Assets
Since California practices community law, many spouses are tempted to conceal their assets during divorce proceedings. This is not only illegal, but it is also insensible as they will most likely be discovered during the discovery and settlement process.
3. Don’t Blindly Follow The Advice of Your Family or Friends
It is common for people who have experienced divorce to believe that they are experts in divorce proceedings, however, they are often misinformed. It is important to to avoid drawing conclusions from one person’s case. When it comes to decisions regarding how you should handle your financial assets and decisions regarding your divorce, the advice that you should value the most is the person you have hired to give you advice – your divorce attorney.
4. Don’t Try to Rush Through The Settlement Process
While many people ending their marriage wish to dissolve it quickly, acting too quickly or making rash decisions is not recommended. High net worth divorce proceedings will take significantly longer than regular divorce proceedings and hastily reaching agreements can result in one person making huge sacrifices simply to expedite the process. Just as it isn’t recommended to rush into a marriage, it isn’t advisable to hurry out of one.
5. Don’t Sell Yourself Short
It is easy to become intimidated by your spouse and their team of divorce lawyers, but it is important to fight for your equitable share of assets. If you are entitled to alimony payments, take them. You never know what life will throw at you and how much that could influence your future.
6. Don’t Fight to Win Every Battle
While you don’t want to give in to an aggressive spouse, you also don’t need to win every battle. There are going to be certain assets that you will have to walk away from. It is important to have a conversation with your divorce attorney at the early stages of the divorce to determine what you value most and what is worth fighting for.
7. Don’t Forget to Update Your Estate Plan
It is important to update your estate plan after major life events, including a divorce proceeding. Lonich Patton Ehrlich Policastri’s team of qualified family law and estate planning attorneys has the resources you need to offer you the best solution for estate planning after a divorce.
8. Don’t Bypass Hiring a High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
Divorce attorneys who specialize in high net worth divorces are going to be more expensive than regular divorce attorneys because they are more qualified, reputable, and have more experience with complex divorce litigation. While it is tempting to opt for the lower fee, being selective with who you choose to fight for your assets is an important step toward investing in your future. If you are facing a divorce with high stakes, please don’t hesitate to contact our offices today for a free 30-minute consultation on how to best protect your future.