Every divorce is unique, and should be approached in a way that is appropriate for the individuals involved and their specific circumstances. High-asset divorces, in particular, have unique circumstances that set them apart from most divorces, and it’s important that you understand the correct way to handle a separation with so much at stake. We’ve outlined some basic dos and don’ts of high-asset divorces below, but we strongly encourage you to speak with our divorce attorneys to get a better understanding of the exact actions you should take in your unique circumstances.
Be Proactive, Not Reactive
When it comes to high-asset divorces, it is always better to be proactive and speak to an attorney early on. If divorce has come up in any discussions with your spouse, or if you have reason to believe your spouse is considering it, speak to an attorney now. We can help you take steps to protect yourself and your assets if and when you or your spouse decides to finally file divorce papers.
Don’t Make Financial Moves without an Attorney
With the above being said, it’s also important to know that you should not make any financial moves without first consulting with a divorce attorney. When a divorce is looming on the horizon, especially in a high-asset divorce, it’s important to consider the way every financial choice will impact your divorce. When the “D word” gets thrown out in a marital argument, some people may make hasty financial decisions, believing those choices can help them get a leg up on their spouse during the divorce. This may often include making large purchases or trying to hide money from your ex.
These things almost always come to light in court, and almost always reflect very poorly on you. Never make these kinds of moves without first discussing your financial concerns with an attorney. We can help you find better ways to protect yourself during the divorce.
Along the same train of thought, you should not enter into any agreements over asset division (even verbal ones) during this phase of your relationship. It’s impossible to fully understand the long-term impacts a simple statement can have on your financial life after your divorce, if you’re not careful.
Don’t Let Your Emotions Rule Your Decisions
Almost every divorce has some heavy emotions involved. These can range from anger and spite to simple apathy and exhaustion. It’s important that you don’t allow these emotions to make decisions for you during divorce negotiations. Angry individuals will often dig their heels in over minor disagreements, hold on tight to assets that they don’t really care, or simply refuse to negotiate with their spouse. All of these anger-fueled decisions can drag out your divorce, costing you more time, money, and stress.
While it’s natural to feel worn out from the divorce process, this isn’t an emotion you should allow to make decisions for you either. That exhaustion, apathy, and general sense of “I just want this over with” can cause you to accept terms that you might regret down the road. It’s important to keep a level head and an eye on the long-term, so you can ensure that you aren’t making decisions that will have a negative impact on your financial life down the road.
Use a Forensic Accounting Team
Remember when we said you shouldn’t try to hide assets to protect your finances? Well, your spouse might do exactly that. In high-asset divorces, there are many more opportunities for spouses to hide away significant assets—foreign accounts, business accounts, buying new assets for a business, purchasing new properties, etc. Due to the financial complexities involved in high-asset divorces, it’s a good idea that you work with an attorney who has a forensic accounting team.
This team can comb through all of the financial records you and your spouse submit, looking for inconsistencies and assets that your spouse might have tried to hide away. Finding those hidden assets can have a significant long-term impact on your financial life and ensure that you get your proper share in the divorce proceedings.
At The Harr Law Firm, our skilled divorce attorneys have years of experience in handling high-asset divorces, and our forensic accounting team has the expertise you want behind you during your divorce. Contact our team today to request a consultation. We can help guide you through every stage of your divorce—from the time the “D word” is first mentioned until your divorce is finalized, and beyond. Give us a call to get the help you need.