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The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan

Q:
What kind of child custody decisions will I face in a high-net-worth divorce?

A:

For a high-net-worth divorce facing decisions regarding child custody, such a case will have three possible outcomes:

  1. The spouses easily settle on an amicable parenting plan on their own, each agreed as to the terms and without argument, and without involving the court. The mutually acceptable plan becomes the basis of the court’s custody decree.
  2. There’s some disagreement at first, but the parents ultimately come to a resolution without requiring a court hearing—although a court filing may have been issued at some point to make the issue taken seriously. Of course, the court will sign off on the final agreement.
  3. There is no meeting of minds, and so the matter goes to litigation, leaving the decision to an assigned family law judge.

For those of high net worth, divorce planning goes a long way to increase the chances of option #1 and preventing option #3. Unless there’s a high conflict case involving false allegations of child abuse, rarely will the best alternative for the parents be allowing the legal system to make decision for the family’s future,

Here are a few pointers specific to high-net-worth divorce for child custody matters:

  • Don’t high-tail it and move out just yet. Even if you can afford to relocate immediately, it may not be a good idea. Unless you’re at risk for domestic violence, a danger of moving out early is later trying to establish a child custody schedule. If your husband is going to be difficult or wants to keep the kids from you, moving out will help him—not you.
  • Be realistic about your work schedule and how much you travel. You’ll need a lot of flexibility for make-up time, and also for maximizing time whenever you do have a fixed schedule.
  • Don’t wait to get a written agreement to define your custody and visitation stipulation and orders. Do it early in your divorce. If you delay, waiting may allow your spousal support and division of property issues to be used as financial leverage against you in your child custody negotiations. Children should never be used as leverage in a divorce.

Define Your Child Custody Terms Right Away

If you and your spouse are facing a high-value divorce, you should recognize that your children are among your most valuable assets, and so it is of the utmost importance that you seek and secure legal counsel as early as possible.

At the Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan, we exclusively represent women, and we can help you navigate the way through your high-asset divorce. We can help protect you, your children, and your assets. Contact us today to speak with a lawyer about your situation.