Individuals who are going through a divorce are forced to deal with many complicated and highly emotional issues including child custody, child and spousal support and the division of property and assets. Finances are also often a chief concern for anyone going through a divorce.
For high-wealth couples going through a divorce, however, the process may be complicated by certain factors.
In cases of high-asset divorce, the division of property and assets can be particularly complex. In Washington, income and assets earned and acquired during a marriage are considered to be community property and therefore subject to equal division between spouses. However, there are often other factors that can influence how certain assets are to be divided during a divorce. For instance, an individual may have acquired wealth and assets prior to a marriage and taken steps to protect those assets with a prenuptial agreement. A spouse may also attempt to hide certain assets in offshore bank accounts or undisclosed real estate out of state. In such cases, a divorce lawyer may need to work with a forensic accountant to uncover such assets.
Airing dirty laundry
While in the midst of a divorce, emotions are often strong and can inhibit an individual’s ability to think clearly and rationally. As a result, some individuals vow to triumph in a divorce at all costs. This stance often results in a couple battling it out in divorce court where private details are made public. This can quickly become fodder for local conversation and gossip – especially for prominent individuals in the community. As an alternative, when possible, warring spouses would be wise to attempt to negotiate and settle matters outside of court.
Settling too quickly
Wealthy individuals are often accustomed to enjoying certain luxuries and a high standard of living. Some individuals, however, fail to fully understand both their current financial picture as well as the potential financial implications of a divorce. As a result, an individual may unwisely agree to certain concessions or a settlement that, at face value, appears to be fair, but really isn’t. It is advisable to consult with a lawyer before agreeing to any settlement – to ensure it serves your interests.
Wealthy individuals who are going through the divorce process face many of the same challenges and decisions as individuals of all economic brackets. The difference, however, is that financial matters tend to be more complex and the potential for financial repercussions more costly.