If you have been fortunate enough to acquire significant assets, then you know that more money can indeed mean more problems. This is exceptionally true when it comes to divorce. While couples who do not have much of an estate may be able to call it quits with relative ease, significant potential marital property makes the process exponentially more difficult.
In part, this is because the law requires a fair division of assets, in some form or another. Even in an ideal scenario where both parties would like to go their own ways, a court must still approve a divorce settlement.
More often than not, however, significant assets are fodder for conflict. If your divorce goes sideways, then you could end up in financial ruins and recovery may take years.
If you are divorcing with significant assets, now is not the time to skimp on your representation. Choosing to enter a divorce negotiation without experienced representation that knows how to properly approach high-value assets could end up costing you many times over in the long run.
What is fair is never simple
The bottom line of a divorce negotiation, in an ideal world, is to get you out of this season and into the next one, set up to live your new life to the fullest. However, complex asset division in divorce cases is not as simple as dividing up a pie.
A more apt metaphor would be trying to equitably divide up every confection in a pastry shop – pies, cookies, lemon bars, brownies and all – each with its own distinct elements.
There are separate and important issues to be considered in each high-asset divorce. Does you marriage involve one or more businesses? What about your real estate? Have your assets co-mingled, or have you kept them separate?
What about investments or assets that are simply a number, like 401k’s, pensions, and bonuses?
For that matter, are you sure that you even know the sum total of your spouse’s assets? Your spouse may be engaging in ethically unsavory practices to hide assets from you, which a court would not look kindly upon.
Children mean extra complexity
You may also have children in the equation, which can add a dimension of difficulty to each of these issues. Standard child support calculations are mostly crafted in a way that makes sense for lower and mid-range income earners.
For high-income earners, there may be legitimate reasons to oppose standard child support calculations. This is not to say that your child does not deserve the best that you can offer them, but at a certain point, a child support payment can turn into underwriting your former spouse’s life if he or she has enough custody.
Child support is the right of the child, not the parent. If your income is substantial, it may be necessary to take steps to ensure that your support is truly going to the child and not a practical blank check for the other parent.
Act now for a stronger new chapter of life
No matter what the nature of your divorce, no one deserves to be miserable and without hope. By acting now to build a strong team, you enter the next chapter of life with the tools you need to build a fresh start.
The guidance of a professional, experienced attorney can help you pursue a fair divorce settlement with the confidence that your rights remain protected throughout the process.