For anyone, going through the divorce process is likely to be a highly emotional and confusing time. Not only is an individual attempting to cope with numerous, and often conflicting, emotions but steps must also be taken to ensure for and protect one’s current and future financial wellbeing.
Individuals who fail to be vigilant and actively participate during the divorce settlement process may risk losing out on their fair share of marital assets. For couples of considerable wealth, matters related to the division of assets and property are often much more complex and, in some cases, a wealthy husband or wife may engage in questionable or illegal activities to retain as much wealth as possible.
In every divorce, couples must figure out matters related to the division of marital assets like liquid assets, a shared home and personal and household belongings. In high asset divorces, the process of identifying, valuing and dividing assets and property is often much more complicated as complex financial portfolios may include stocks, business-related assets, retirement assets, multiple investment accounts and artwork or other valuable collectables.
Given the complexity and scope of some individual’s and couple’s financial assets, it’s no wonder that high asset divorces are often lengthy and contentious. In some cases, a husband or wife may attempt to hide assets or intentionally confuse or misrepresent their net worth and income. Even in cases where a spouse is forthright about their assets, given the varying tax liabilities and penalties, it can be difficult to determine the actual value of some complex assets.
For wealthy individuals who plan to divorce, it’s important to hire an attorney who understands the complexities that accompany high asset divorces. A divorce attorney who has successfully helped other individuals in similar situations will work to help ensure a husband or wife receives his or her fair share during a divorce settlement.
Source: Forbes, “Why A Forensic Accountant Belongs On Your Divorce Team,” Jeff Landers, Sep. 4, 2014