Division of assets is tricky in any divorce, but the stakes skyrocket in high-net-worth divorces. The highest net worth divorce split nearly $150 billion of assets of Amazon’s founder and his now ex-wife, but high-net-worth divorces are commonly defined as a divorce between a couple with more than $1 million in assets. They typically include dissolving or dividing complex financial assets like stock options, business interests, and real estate partnerships. Getting the process right can mean the difference between millions, or even billions, of dollars in future assets for each partner. Most individuals with a high net worth look for an aggressive divorce lawyer in San Antonio, TX, to ensure assets are divided fairly. Here are some important things to know about this unique type of divorce.
One of the best things you can do, if possible, is to maintain trust with your spouse. Attempting to hide assets by transferring them to a third party before filing or by using questionable means can be a costly mistake. Not only can it lead you to lost credibility in court, but in some cases it is a fraudulent action that can have legal consequences. Maintaining your credibility is valuable because it can smooth the divorce process and the division of assets, saving you and your spouse time and money.
Hire an Experienced Attorney
High-net-worth divorces are incredibly complex. Not all divorces are litigated, but if your case ends up in court, an experienced attorney will have helped you hash out important details — like determining the value of your assets — long before the case is in front of a judge. That exemplary work on the front end can save you thousands of dollars. Ideally, a seasoned attorney will be able to negotiate a settlement or assist in mediation so you don’t have to litigate. And if that doesn’t work, an accomplished attorney will get you a fair and equitable deal in a court setting.
A quality attorney will help you form realistic expectations about your divorce. It’s common for a higher-earning spouse to feel entitled to keep the majority of assets. However, a judge will often take into consideration that a lesser-earning spouse may have forgone income and opportunity to stay at home. Your attorney will fight to ensure you receive your due from the division of assets while helping you maintain realistic expectations. Texas is a community property state, which means assets acquired during the marriage are subject to division.
Determining which assets are community property and which assets are separate property will be a primary function of an aggressive divorce attorney. An experienced attorney helps high-net-worth divorce clients trace how assets were purchased, clarifying the delineation between community and separate assets.
In any divorce, emotions can get the best of either party. Maintaining trust with your spouse, hiring an experienced attorney, and setting realistic expectations will make the process go as smoothly as possible, saving you time and money. If you’re preparing to file for divorce or were recently served divorce papers, it’s time to find an attorney. If you need help navigating your divorce process, call the Law Offices of Steven C. Benke today for a consultation.