Divorce is never easy, but it becomes even more complicated when one or both parties have a high net worth.
If you're entering a high-asset divorce, understanding the challenges you might face can help you be proactive and address issues before they become a thorn in your side.
What to Expect from Your High-Asset Divorce
If you or your partner have a public profile or possess a high net-worth, your divorce might be uniquely challenging. Here are a few common challenges individuals face in high asset divorces:
- Public scrutiny. Unless you manage to get your case sealed by the court, there's a good chance that your divorce case will be a matter of permanent record. Divorces can often contain embarrassing information, which can be an issue for high-profile individuals. The more amicable and expedient you can make your divorce, the more you reduce your chances of damaging information ending up in your divorce case.
- Failing to account for taxes. Many individuals get caught up in a certain part of the property division process, such as keeping the marital house. If you have valuable assets or property, you should sit down with a financial professional to figure out what taxes on those assets will look like post-divorce. Doing so can save you a lot time, money, and frustration in the long run.
- Underestimating child support, custody, and alimony costs. In many marriages, one partner is the primary breadwinner. In high-asset divorces, the wealthier partner often finds themself on the paying end of expensive child and spousal support arrangements. Make sure you take steps ahead of time to put together comprehensive spousal and child support cases that support an equitable arrangement and brace for the financial impact if you're the primary breadwinner. The courts try to maintain the same quality of life for children and spouses post-divorce that they enjoyed during the marriage, so if you paid for a tutor, expect to continue doing so once the marriage ends.
- Failing to prepare in advance for how businesses and investments might be affected by the divorce. If you own a business or have substantial investments, you should immediately seek out a high-asset divorce lawyer and discuss how a divorce might impact those assets. Investments and businesses often play a central role in high-asset divorces, so you should form a plan to protect your assets early on.