Every divorce presents unique challenges, but for those with substantial assets, the obstacles are often greater and far more complex. To ensure you receive your rightful share of marital property and assets, it is crucial to hire an attorney with extensive experience in handling such cases, so you can avoid making costly mistakes that may impact your future for years to come.
Why Are High Net Worth Divorces More Complicated?
Spouses Can Hide Assets
When spouses have substantial assets, it is easy for partners to hide cash or other valuable assets they wish to shield from the asset division process. Even if neither spouse intends to hide assets, it may happen unintentionally due to their substantial net worth, especially if the marriage lasted for a long time.
Sometimes, a spouse is guilty of wasteful dissipation. This is an unethical practice where one spouse wastes money for the sole purpose of hurting the other. There will be fewer assets to divide after the wasteful spending, so the other spouse will receive less after the money is blown.
When a spouse wastes money, they do not buy physical assets, as those could be divided in the divorce. Instead, they spend unrecoverable money. This can include going on expensive vacations, giving huge chunks to charity, buying gifts for friends, and so on.
High-Asset Property Division Can Be Complex
While it is a little more straightforward to determine the value of a home or rental property, determining the value of pre-IPO stock or partnership holdings is often far less simple and requires the assistance of financial experts. As a result, high asset divorces are often more time-consuming and tend to incur higher legal fees.
Many of your assets may be intangible, such as digital investments in crypto. Stocks themselves can be hard to value. They have a direct, monetary price, but unless you sell them or regularly collect on them, that value is not liquid. It is tied directly into the stock. Intangible assets such as these can be hard to divide.
Determining the ownership of such property can be difficult. Any investment made within the marriage is technically a marital asset, but when that asset doesn’t directly translate to spendable cash, it can be difficult to determine who should fairly keep it.
It Can Be Difficult to Keep Spouses Within Their Accustomed Lifestyle
Determining the lifestyle of a family in such cases is also another challenge during the divorce process. When a couple has substantial assets, their lifestyle is often a bit more lavish and far from ordinary.
It can be difficult to simply ascertain what someone’s accustomed lifestyle is. If very wealthy people experience a significant drop in their finances, their day-to-day lives could remain unaffected. Courts may have a hard time determining what amount of support will keep someone within their existing financial situation.
Therefore, child support and alimony will not conform to the standard calculations that apply to most other divorce cases. That said, it would be unfair to use regular child support or alimony limits when both spouses have enough assets to support the lifestyle they had during their marriage. An experienced high-asset divorce attorney can advocate on your behalf and ensure you receive results that are fair for your unique circumstances.
Reach Out to Our Experienced Family Law Team to Discuss Your Case
If you can no longer move forward in your marriage and wish to file for divorce, you will need an experienced attorney to guide you through the process, especially if you have substantial assets. At The Law Offices of Mark R. Hinshaw, PLC, our legal team is committed to guiding clients through every step of the process and will locate all assets to ensure you receive your fair share.
Get started on protecting your assets by contacting our law office today at (515) 200-7571 to set up a consultation with one of our knowledgeable high-asset divorce attorneys.