Dividing assets in a divorce elevates in complexity depending on the amount and value of assets involved. If you’re going through a high-asset divorce, Ricklin & Associates presents the following steps and considerations:
1. Uncover All Assets
While it may be tempting to hide certain assets from your spouse or put money aside for safekeeping, it is crucial that you are completely transparent with your spouse and the legal counsel involved. Moving money around, spending excessively, or trying to sell items or businesses can damage your credibility in the case and even result in fraud charges.
Additionally, it’s important to uncover, document, and detail as many assets as you can for both spouses. In a high-asset divorce, the sheer amount of assets can be overwhelming and some of them can fall by the wayside. Assets to consider include:
- Liquid assets
- Homes and vacation properties
- Income (and alternative incomes)
- Jewelry and other possessionsDon’t Rush
2. Don’t Rush
Although both parties are motivated to get through the process as quickly as possible, there are ways to divide assets that don’t involve spending tens of thousands of dollars in fees and costs. High net worth parties should consider private mediation working with an experienced family law attorney and forensic accountant specializing in division of high value assets. If litigation is the only option, be sure to hire an attorney who understands the complex nature of high asset division of community property such as corporate stock transfers, life insurance issues, business valuations, equalization payment installment plans, and other complex financial issues.
A divorce and division of property inherently involves several transactions. Talking to a professional about the implications of these transactions from a financial standpoint can make the ultimate difference long-term.
The process of divorce and asset division is stressful and can be overwhelming, but doing it right is more important than expediency.
3. Consider Privacy & Well-Being
High-asset divorces can be difficult to settle without litigation to their high-stakes nature. However, both parties ultimately desire to reach the best settlement they can as soon as possible with the highest level of privacy and dignity.
Come to the table ready for serious negotiations and offer a solution that will make both parties achieve what they want in the long run. You might also consider options that will protect privacy, such as sealed documents that can only be viewed legally by the court and involved parties.
Additionally, in high asset value cases, both parties should consider that a private judge or attorney experienced in high net value divorces hear their matter rather than the family law judge assigned to the case to protect privacy and marital assets from public record.
You and your ex-spouse may have lived together as one for years and with the assets available to give you both the quality of live you desire, consider putting the best interests of both of you at the forefront.
4. Aspirations For Children
If there are children involved in your high-asset divorce, you might think about things like private school or college tuition, music classes, and special vocational schools or camps to put on the table. Beyond child support, you can ask more for your children that is representative of the standard of living they may have expected from the family unit.
5. Obtain Quality Representation
Representation is a crucial part of any divorce, and this is especially true in high-asset divorces. An attorney can act as a non-biased, third-party participant to help you and your ex-spouse communicate fairly and effectively and protect your interests in avoiding extra tax implications and fees.
You and your ex-spouse may also prefer to have separate representation in order to feel fairly spoken for. No matter the arrangement you chose, representation is crucial.
We understand the challenges that a high asset divorce or child custody dispute can put on a family, especially when a possible move is put into the equation. Whether your case is resolved through negotiation, mediation, arbitration or litigation, you can rely on clear communication and skillful advocacy when you work with our firm. Contact Ricklin Family Law and let us guide you through every step of the legal processes your case requires.
2625 Townsgate Road
Westlake Village, CA 91361