While divorce is a difficult time for any couple, it is especially tricky for those with high net worth. Financial concerns in a high-asset divorce can cause divorce proceedings to drag on for a long time, resulting in costly court battles.
Women are often at a disadvantage in a high-asset divorce because men are typically the primary breadwinners in these couples. If you are divorcing in a high-net-worth situation but haven't worked for the length of your marriage, you may be concerned about your post-divorce income and standard of living. Here are some tips for women facing a high-asset divorce and how they can protect their financial interests:
Identify and clarify all assets
To have the best chance of an equitable and favorable divorce settlement, the first step is to accurately identify all the assets at stake. This may sound like an obvious piece of advice, but some spouses go to great lengths to actually hide marital assets during the divorce process. Ensure that you are aware of all the assets for consideration in the divorce, including retirement accounts such as 401(k) plans and IRAs. Collect all the documentation you can regarding your marital assets.
Get an asset valuation
The value of your assets is a crucial factor in a high-asset divorce. If you and your spouse are able to agree about how to divide your assets, you do not necessarily have to go before a judge. However, you do need to have an accurate valuation of your marital assets. Each state has different laws governing asset division in a divorce. California, for example, is one of a handful of "community property" states, which places particular requirements on equitable asset division.
If you are a woman facing a high-asset divorce, focusing on your finances is one of your primary concerns. Get a team in place that can help you accurately assess the value of your marital assets as well as assist you if your spouse may be hiding assets to withhold them from division during the divorce. With attention to detail and a meticulous approach, you can navigate your divorce in a way that helps you avoid financial disadvantages.