How can I prepare my finances for a high-asset divorce?

If you are getting a divorce in Peoria, you may have wondered how you can prepare for that financial hit. Some divorces are amicable with couples never needing to set foot in court, or at the very least, not for long. However, when there are high-value assets involved, years of marriage that led to entangled ownership, and a breadwinner versus homemaker situation, things might become more complicated.

Personal finance company, NerdWallet, cautions you to think twice about well-meaning recommendations from family and friends. Your best friend in New York who recently went through a high-asset divorce did so under different laws than you will in Illinois, no matter how similar your situations may be. It is always best to source your advice from professionals in your state.

At the first suspicion that your partner wants a divorce or the first indication that you would like to initiate one yourself, start tracking expenses. Without a better understanding of what it takes for you to get by, you may have a tough time deciding what you need to hold on to after the divorce. If you are 50 years or older, this is especially important with retirement coming up.

You may then need to gather all your documentation. Whether you are the breadwinner, the homemaker or both, here are some of the items you need to get copies of:

  •          A year of checking and savings accounts statements
  •          A year of investment accounts statements
  •          A year of credit card statements
  •          Income tax returns for the past three years
  •          Current retirement account statements
  •          Recent pay stubs

Even in amicable divorces, negative emotions may arise when giving up assets. One partner may feel that after years of giving up their careers to play a supportive role, or putting their career second, they deserve some compensation for their sacrifices. Meanwhile, the other party may come to resent losing so much of the assets they worked so hard to obtain.

Without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, there is no telling what way the wind might blow in a high-asset divorce. One thing both parties should keep in mind is this: time and money spent fighting over assets require money that neither person gets to take with them after the divorce is finalized.

This article provides information on high-asset divorce based on data sourced from NerdWallet. It should not be misconstrued as or used in place of legal or financial advice.

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