If you and your spouse have decided to divorce, consider your next move carefully. Divorce is nearly always a difficult process, but this is especially true for couples with significant assets and extensive funds. Couples going through a high asset divorce can expect to experience more expenses and a lengthier legal process, especially pertaining to the division of assets. However, there are a few things you can do to better prepare yourself for a high asset divorce, both legally and financially.
Look through bank statements, property documents, and other important paperwork, organizing anything that could be of importance. Be sure to look for loan documents, credit card statements, tax returns, insurance policies, and other relevant financial statements. Anything mentioning your finances or properties should be considered important and filed away for your attorney to look over.
Gather information about assets that you share, called marital assets, and any properties or inheritances that belongs to you individually. Also, seek any possible proof of ownership of assets that are specifically yours. It would also be beneficial to find the deeds to all properties you own, individually and together, and find the financial value of each. Folder everything accordingly, and make copies. Even if you store records on your computer, it is always safe to keep at least 2 hard copies of all important documents.
If you and your spouse shared bank accounts and credit cards, as most married couples do, open your own accounts as soon as possible. You will want to establish your own financial independence and prevent your spouse for dipping into your accounts or monitoring your spending. Also, if everything you owned together was in your spouse’s name, opening your own accounts can help build up your credit.
Many couples who go through high asset divorces began their marriage with prenuptial agreements to protect their assets. If you and your spouse signed a prenuptial agreement, find any documentation pertaining to the agreement, and the agreement itself, and keep a copy for your records. While a prenuptial agreement can detail who will get what in the event of a divorce, it’s likely your assets have changed or increased, which means it may only serve as a guideline. On the other hand, a prenuptial agreement will likely include important information regarding property division or business and investment interests, and can drastically alter how the assets will be divided.
High asset divorces are typically more problematic than other divorce cases, which is why it is important to hire an attorney with experience dealing with situations similar to your own. A lawyer accustomed to working with high-asset couples will understand how to secure larger financial interests and should also have numerous other resources to draw on, like financial advisors.
For help regarding your high asset divorce, contact Balisle Family Law Legal Counsel, S.C. to speak with one of our skilled attorneys.