No divorce is ever easy, but high net worth divorces are usually the most difficult in terms of legality and complexity. The emotional and mental turmoil is as demanding as ever, but only made worse by having such high stakes on the line. Businesses, properties, debt, investments, and other high value assets must all be passed along to the appropriate parties. Having a team of legal and financial professionals on your team during this time is absolutely necessary.
Always Start With A Plan
Don’t make the mistake of navigating through the divorce reactively or working with a lawyer who chooses to do so. The more you have planned, the better your chances at success. Any assets left out of the original plan are at a greater risk of being lost. Many high asset divorces become chaotic and confusing simply because both parties aren’t moving ahead with a plan.
An in-depth plan starts with a balance sheet that includes all known debts and assets of any particular value. You’ll need to gather as many banking, business, and other financial records as possible to ensure your spread sheet is as accurate as possible. This spread sheet will become the foundation of your plan.
The next phase of the plan is targeting items on the spread sheet that are likely to become an issue. This can be difficult, which is exactly why you should be working with legal professionals at your side. The right attorneys will know what areas to target first. They will work alongside forensic accountants, evaluators, and other financial experts to outline the best possible plan for securing your high value assets.
Avoid Some Common Mistakes
Many parties of high worth divorces have made similar mistakes over the years. That’s bad news for them, but good for you. It means you can learn from their mistakes and know to avoid them. Some of the mistakes seem almost silly in retrospect, but become important and hard to avoid in the heat of the moment. Divorces tend to push all people involved to their emotional limits, but you must remain smart and stick to the plan.
One of the first mistakes people make in high net worth divorces is agreeing to anything the attorneys present them simply because they want to get out of the relationship. This is somewhat understandable because they are tired of their marriage and want to be free, but this can lead to a lot of emotional decisions made without much thought.
That’s bad news for you. You must always remain patient and work side-by-side with your attorney before making any rash decisions. Don’t let emotions cause you to lose more of your assets.
A second mistake made in these divorce proceedings is attempting to hide assets or debts. A spouse may attempt to transfer their assets to a third party or someone overseas. This rarely works because high-quality attorneys work alongside forensic accountants and experts trained to find these assets.
Your best bet is to remain honest, level-headed, and stick to the plan throughout all stages of the divorce. Find an attorney you can trust and work with them at all times.