Economic issues related to divorce are often complicated, and when one or both spouses own significant assets, the divorce is considered a high net worth divorce. When a divorce involves significant business or personal assets, the process will have its own unique set of challenges. It is important to approach high-net-worth divorces in a manner befitting the unique complications that will need to be addressed.
Suppose you will be going through a high-net-worth divorce, or you have already begun the process. In that case, it is important that you meet with a family law attorney who has experience representing clients in high-net-worth divorces. In addition to hiring an experienced high-net-worth divorce lawyer to represent your interests throughout the process, we have listed some of our best tips for high-net-worth divorces.
Begin Planning as Soon as Possible
Deciding to divorce can be challenging, and sometimes the possibility of reconciliation makes it difficult to move forward with a divorce. However, if you are considering divorce, it is wise to speak with a high-net-worth divorce lawyer as soon as possible. A divorce can change your life in many unexpected ways, especially when you or your spouse own significant assets. Additionally, when there is a business involved, divorce can be particularly challenging. If you believe that there is a potential for you and your spouse to divorce, we recommend contacting an attorney as soon as possible.
Be Transparent Regarding Your Assets
Going through a high-net-worth divorce can be emotionally draining, and, understandably, you would like to keep as much of your property as possible. Nonetheless, it is essential to be transparent when compiling a list of all of your assets. In some cases, divorcing spouses will attempt to hide some of their spouses’ assets to protect them. Doing so is dishonest, and it can also have extremely negative consequences. Suppose a family court judge discovers that you have hidden any assets or been less than transparent during the property division process. In that case, they may rule against you, or you could suffer other negative consequences.
Do Not Settle Too Quickly
Many people who go through a divorce consider their divorce one of the most challenging life experiences they have had. It can be tempting to settle as quickly as possible so you can finalize the divorce and move on with your new life. Yet, agreeing to a division of assets and alimony amount too quickly can have negative short-term and long-term consequences. Instead of settling as quickly as possible, it is wise to discuss all of the settlement possibilities with your lawyer and consider the short-term and long-term implications of the proposed settlement. You may feel like the proposed settlement agreement is decent now, but how will you feel 10, 15, or 20 years down the road? Take the time to analyze any settlement agreements thoroughly. When necessary, your lawyer can help you push back and continue negotiating for your interests.
Use Financial Experts
In high-net-worth divorces, the division of property is often complicated. When there are many assets, a business, or multiple properties involved in the divorce process, Financial experts become necessary. In addition to your lawyer’s advice, you will benefit from contacting financial experts who can properly categorize and value all of your assets. It is important to ensure that you properly evaluate your family business, real estate, bonds, stocks, and pensions. Additionally, when an expert conducts your property valuation, you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse are more likely to agree on the property’s valuation and move forward with negotiations over how to divide it. Hiring an expert will also help you determine that nothing fraudulent has gone on and that all of your assets are properly accounted for before the divorce becomes finalized.
Consider the Tax Consequences of the Outcome of Your Divorce
Depending on the type of assets you and your spouse own, there could be significant tax ramifications in the future after the court divides your property. Our tax code is incredibly complicated, and high net worth individuals are usually in the top tax bracket. If there is a way for you to limit your tax liability as part of your divorce settlement, it is crucial to investigate those options. Gaining or losing one property could cost you thousands of dollars in tax liability, especially if you own a business.
You and your attorney should work closely with other financial professionals, including an accountant, to consider the tax implications for the assets that will be distributed. Your divorce does not have to lead to financial ruin, and your lawyer can help you consider the tax consequences of any potential settlement agreements. An account will be able to dig deep into your assets and finances to provide valuable insight into your tax liability should you gain or lose certain assets.
Contact an Experienced High-Net-Worth Divorce Lawyer
At Akiona Law, PLLC, We understand the challenges faced by couples involved in a high-net-worth divorce. With our in-depth understanding of Washington divorce laws, we advocate for our clients throughout the divorce. We understand that the financial implications are serious, especially in a high-net-worth divorce.
Our legal team will carefully review your situation and advise you of your best path forward with your divorce. Throughout the entire process, we will advocate for your interests and provide skilled legal representation. We understand the unique challenges involved with high net-worth divorces, and we are ready to advocate for you. Contact us today to schedule your initial consultation.