While every divorce is different, one thing is certain – high net worth divorces have an extra layer of complication since there is so much at stake in these types of situations. Most high net worth divorces have an extensive division of assets that can include real estate, property, stocks, businesses, investments, retirement accounts, trusts, and other valuable property.
With the amount of assets to divide, issues are common to arise. High net worth divorces can tend to be a longer process due to all that needs to be taken into consideration, and the last thing couples want is to draw the process out even longer due to resolving conflicts. If you are about to go through a high net worth divorce, consider the following tips:
Disputes Over Assets – It is obvious that assets will play a large role in a high net worth divorce. This topic can cause headaches and conflict because how assets are evaluated and divided can affect your life after a divorce. Between businesses, complex trusts, investments, international assets, and other assets involved, it is not uncommon for parties to feel that they are not getting a fair valuation or getting their fair share. One way to resolve conflict over the valuation and distribution of property is to hire a professional such as a valuation expert or appraiser who can work in tandem with your counsel. If you and your spouse can both agree to hire a third party to value particular assets, you can avoid further argument and expense while having confidence that an independent evaluator is acting fairly to evaluate assets.
Ambiguity Regarding Finances – There are spouses that may try to hide certain assets to protect them from getting divided in the divorce. Some spouses may intentionally provide confusing paperwork or understate income. The other spouse may sense this, regardless of whether the other spouse is hiding assets, and feel they are being manipulated. In these types of complex divorce cases, it is common to complete comprehensive discovery to uncover all assets and income. Additionally, a party may hire forensic accountants to examine personal and business financial records to ensure all is being accounted for and brought to the table for evaluation.
Battle Over Business – A divorce is a personal matter, but when a business is involved, it can become a professional matter, as well. A business is a complicated entity and adding a divorce on top of it can be daunting and create a battle between you and your spouse. The good news is that you have options for handling the business after a divorce. These can include selling the business so you and your ex can split the proceeds, splitting the business if your business is structured in such a way that allows this to be a viable option, buyout of the other party’s interest in the business, or continuing joint ownership. Read more about divorce and family business.
A high net worth divorce can be a tough situation. Luckily, there are experienced attorneys that are highly skilled in this area of divorce. Leaning on a knowledgeable attorney that you trust is key and can help you navigate all the issues that may come up during your journey through your high net worth divorce case.
Interested in other topics related to high net worth divorces? Read our article about the roles experts play in a high net worth divorce, 5 tips for a high net worth divorce, or the characteristics of a high net worth divorce.
If you have questions about your high net worth divorce or if you want to learn more about how our experienced attorneys can help you, contact us online or call our office in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at 412-261-4040.