There is a lot that goes into a divorce, and for the most part, they all share the same basic processes and steps. While the type of divorce you are dealing with does not make it any easier on you or your spouse, some aspects make planning necessary to get the desired outcome. Marital property laws vary from state to state, and you must know what you’re getting into when deciding how your assets will be divided.
Today we are talking about high asset divorces, which are cases where there is a larger than average amount of assets to divide amongst two spouses. While most people can decide on how to split assets based on need or want, it’s a more complex story for these types of divorces. Let’s take a closer look at 5 things you should know about a high asset divorce to better prepare yourself for the road ahead.
1. Be Aware of Hidden Assets
It can be challenging to split or share assets during and after a divorce, especially if it is not the outcome that you were hoping for. Upon filing for a divorce, it is best to organize all of your assets to make the process go faster and smoother. Many people may think that hiding certain assets will prevent the courts from allowing the other spouse to access them. However, this is a common misconception. Throughout the proceedings, it is best to be as transparent as possible about all of your assets. Failure to do so can draw out the process longer and add more stress to the situation.
2. Get an Accountant
People who have many different assets might find it hard to compile an organized list of everything they own. If you do not already have a trusted accountant, it may be time to hire one. Having an accountant can take the stress off your shoulders and find issues or hidden assets that you might have missed on your own. Even after your divorce, your accountant can help you manage these assets in the future and keep your finances more organized.
3. It Can Take Longer
Traditional divorces can take about 3 months to a year to become finalized. However, in the case of a high asset divorce, the process can take much longer due to the complexities. This is because it requires more time, work, and an expert attorney to resolve all the issues related to the division of marital assets. Both spouses must disclose their bank accounts, mortgages, investments, retirement accounts, business ownership, pensions/policies, and collectibles. A divorce agreement can involve property settlements that include the division of real estate and furnishings between the two parties and much more.
4. Expect Lifestyle Changes
The prospect of divorce is enough to make you wonder about the long-term financial effects of a high asset divorce. A prospective plaintiff contemplating a divorce may be surprised at the alimony and lifestyle changes resulting from pursuing this course of action. Typically, the higher the net worth of a married couple, the more alimony is awarded to the lower-income spouse. If there are no minor children involved, then this can sometimes mean a drastic reduction in lifestyle, including a need to sell properties and close businesses owned jointly with your spouse.
5. Select the Right Representation
If you and your spouse have a high asset divorce, where the value of assets could reach into the six figures, you need to select the best representation possible for your case. With such a high amount of money at stake, high asset divorce settlements involve a lot more than just dividing up property and debt. If you have multiple sources of income or complicated tax returns, the division of assets can become hard to move past quickly. But with an experienced legal team on your side that knows how to deal with these tricky divorce settlements, you will be able to handle any complications that come up.
At Cobb Cole, our divorce attorneys are well versed in high asset divorce proceedings and understand how to protect all of your assets throughout the process. If you live in the Ormond Beach area, contact us today and schedule a consultation with one of our experienced attorneys.