Equitable property division terms begin with a complete understanding of your marital property. A high-asset divorce may make matters more challenging.
You may choose to involve the services of a forensic accountant. They can walk you through the asset tracing process and explain the potential pitfalls and anticipated costs.
Contentious issues are prone to surface during the complex property division process
Couples commonly find that trying to divide marital and separate property leads to a high-conflict situation. It’s one thing to argue about an appraisal for keeping the family home, but it’s even more challenging to make determinations about matters such as:
- Investment portfolios (This might include stocks, pension plans and retirement accounts.)
- Family business ownership (A current business valuation is imperative!)
- Intellectual property (Are there any copyrights, trademarks, patents or trade secrets at stake?)
- Investment properties (Would co-ownership be more beneficial than selling the real estate?)
A professional practice may complicate your marital estate as well. Meanwhile, there are significant tax implications to virtually every decision you make.
Working with a forensic accountant
If your attorney agrees about the possibility of hidden assets, they can guide your steps. Some reminders you might take under advisement include:
Communicate your personal knowledge about your spouse
Information you can provide about your spouse may help trace assets. Share openly with your investigators to help them create a profile.
Show your cards
In the initial stages of your divorce process, try to negotiate using the most accessible assets identified. Informing your spouse of your preliminary findings may gain their agreement before costly litigation becomes necessary.
Remember: they’re trying to protect their interests, too.
Make a realistic investment in your search
Don’t spend more money than you have while trying to find hidden assets. Marital dissolution is emotionally charged, but desirable results depend on logic.
Some assets may be nearly irrecoverable and hidden within difficult jurisdictions. Keeping the end results in mind may help prevent meaningless disputes.
You’re doing the best you can
There’s no definite way you could predict whether your soon-to-be ex tucked money away without your knowledge. However, involving a forensic accountant in your high-asset divorce may be what you need to walk away from your spouse with the property division terms you deserve.