Steps To Take During A High Asset Divorce
Almost all divorces are highly emotional and stressful; however, high asset divorces can also be incredibly complicated as a couple deals with the end of their marriage an the division of shared assets. If you and your spouse share high assets and are planning on divorcing in the near future, it is important to protect yourself. Take the following steps in a high asset divorce case:
Hire an Experienced Divorce Attorney
If you're involved in a high asset divorce, it is imperative to retain a highly experienced divorce attorney. Ideally, you should look for an attorney who specializes in dealing with high asset divorces and understands the complexities of these types of cases. Don't feel like you need to hire the first attorney that you meet with-- it is a good idea to schedule consultations with several highly respected divorce attorneys and then make your hiring decision after meeting all of them.
Gather Important Documents
Before the divorce process begins, you need to have a very good idea about the joint assets that you and your spouse share. Take time to collect important information for your attorney, such as bank account statements, investment account statements, 401(k) statements, deeds to real estate jointly owned, and evidence that shows that you own highly valuable belongings, such as jewelry or art.
Consider Hiring a Forensic Accountant
In some cases, a high asset divorce can be very acrimonious and one spouse may attempt to hide assets before the divorce proceedings begin. If you suspect that your spouse is shifting assets to make it look like he or she is worth less, you may want to hire a forensic accountant. An experienced forensic accountant will comb through all of your financial information as well as the information provided by your spouse to ensure that all assets are reported and being accounted for.
Be Ready to Be Patient
While you may be ready to legally end your marriage and move on with your life, it is important to know that high asset divorces often take longer to finalize than normal divorces where couple do not have as many assets. It usually takes longer for a high asset to be finalized because there is a lot of financial data for both sides to review, and the negotiation of the division of assets can take a long time before both sides feel that they are getting a fair deal.