Divorce is one of the most challenging situations a family can experience. A couple that has been together for many years and grown financially may have additional concerns when facing a divorce.
Asset division can be very complicated, especially when a couple has a high asset or a complex divorce case.
Questions concerning the division of retirement accounts, investments, family businesses, real estate, livestock, or art/antique collections are common issues. These can create a lot of anxiety in couples contemplating divorce, and mistakes or not being adequately prepared could prove very costly in the outcome of your case.
Below are topics that one should be aware of if contemplating a high asset divorce:
A divorce of any kind is traumatic, but high asset or complicated divorces can be incredibly draining on an individual’s emotions because of how long these cases take to resolve. It is best to prepare yourself in advance for the emotional toll this process could take on you as an individual and as a family.
High asset or complex divorces often require an extensive discovery process to identify all the assets of a marriage and may require the assistance of additional experts to value a particular marital asset. Knowing the long-term grind ahead of time and keeping the big picture in mind will help an individual wither the emotional storm of a lengthy court battle.
A high asset or complex divorce may require additional experts to help your case. These experts include real estate appraisers, business valuators, forensic accountants, or unique item appraisers. The experts can testify about an item’s actual value and provide the party with more accurate information regarding a marital asset versus an educated guess.
In high asset divorces, it is very common that one of the partners will try and hide assets to devalue the estate, especially when a privately owned business is involved. This is done to shrink the marital estate so they can keep a larger piece for themselves.
These types of situations often require the use of a forensic account or business valuator to assess the assets of the marriage accurately and correctly define the marital estate. Standard techniques include using hidden bank accounts, accounts owned jointly with third parties, and hiding cash, especially if the business has a significant cash component.
In all divorces, documentation is essential, but in a high asset or complex divorces, documentation may be vital to getting a favorable outcome in your case. When fighting over assets, oral testimony might not be enough. A well-prepared party needs to have bank records, tax records, land and title records/contracts, and receipts for all disputed items.
The discovery process or exchange of information can be lengthy and require significant time to acquire the necessary documents. Being prepared ahead of time will go a long way for your case.
There is no one cookie-cutter approach when dealing with a high asset or complex divorce; however, being prepared is a significant first step. The family law attorneys at Hale Robinson & Robinson are dedicated to providing the expertise and first-hand knowledge to guide you through the divorce process and protect your rights.