Divorce can be difficult for everyone involved. But certain factors can complicate things, especially if you’re not aware of them ahead of time. One of these factors is whether you are dealing with a high net worth divorce. When there is more money involved, it can impact the progress and outcome of your divorce.
Let’s take a look at several things to be aware of before you head into your divorce proceedings.
More Money and More Time
Since there are more assets involved, there are more things to divide and determine whether they are community property or separate belongings. One way to help the process is to have your financial documents in order. This will help your attorney as they work on your divorce.
When it comes to community property versus separate belongings, separate property is not divided during a divorce. It is usually owned before the divorce or is something inherited or received as a gift. If there is any question about whether something is community or separate property, it can be traced to see exactly when it was received.
If there are any questions about community property, it is more likely to be contested in high net worth divorces because the participants can afford the legal proceedings. Because of this, high net worth divorces also tend to take longer. Drawn-out court battles are not unusual and should be expected.
Alimony & Child Support Payments are Larger
When there is more money involved, there are typically larger alimony and child support payments. Determining alimony payments can get complicated. It is extremely important to have the right people working for you who will take the time, and have the experience working with HNW divorces, to make sure you either aren’t paying too much or receiving too little.
The same goes for child support payments. Child support is meant to take care of the child’s needs. There are formulas used to determine the correct amount. Rules can differ from state to state so it is best to see what the state parameters are where you live so that you are paying and receiving the right amounts.
Property and Investments
Wealthy couples most likely have larger homes as their primary residence and may also have other investment property or vacation property. It may not be as easy as to give one house to one spouse and another to the other spouse. Everything needs to be noted so that property and investments can be divided fairly.
When it comes to investments, all IRA’s, CD’s, and stocks need to be documented. The same goes for pensions and any other retirement accounts. Everything needs to be on the table honestly and fairly so that the assets can be divided legally.
If there is a business involved, you may need the help of a forensic accountant. Income tax returns will also closely be looked at. The business’ value will need to be determined as well as whether both spouses had a part in running it or working on it. All of this will also help to determine any child support or alimony payments.
Keep Things Amicable
As much as it may be hard to keep things civil, it will be much easier to navigate through a high net worth divorce if you can be nice to your spouse and put the children’s best interest in front. If you are constantly fighting, you’re going to have a tough time coming to any agreements, and the divorce will only last longer and cause more angst for the entire family.
Keep in mind that the judge does not want to see either side fighting or acting immaturely. The better you can behave, the better it will be for your case.
In the end, it is important to keep everything in perspective if you are involved in a high net worth divorce. The more prepared you can be, and the more cooperative you are, the better it will be for your case. You can also expect to have a better outcome that can help you move on and start your new life.