For the lucky ones who come to a mutual agreement to seek a divorce without any major disagreements, a high-asset divorce can be quickly settled without a lengthy or costly fight in court. For the rest—who find themselves in a fierce battle, fighting about the terms of custody and support, the division of personal and community property, and business valuations—a high-net-worth divorce can be a long and costly drama. Winding up in court could cost a great deal of time, plus the money being fought over due to legal fees.
How will we begin working on your high asset divorce case? It’s all about identifying the key issues at stake from the very start:
- Protecting Your Children: If there are immediate issues of abuse or neglect, drug or alcohol abuse, or any other matters that endanger child safety, welfare or education, we’ll take the necessary steps to ask the court for the proper representation. A forensic psychologist or a designated representative could be appointed, called minor’s counsel or guardian ad litem, depending on the children’s ages. Getting your custody issues under control as quickly as possible is a critical aspect of handling any high-asset divorce case. If not defined immediately, your children could be used as leverage, thereby subjecting them to greater emotional turmoil and damage during your divorce battle.
- Protecting Your Liquid Assets: In a high value divorce, it’s not unheard of for one spouse to take hasty actions to liquidate bank accounts and retirement funds or to sell off stocks as soon as wind of a possible divorce is felt. Such moves can make for serious legal consequences—so don’t try ’em! To protect against such games, we’ll make our own moves to protect your liquid assets.
- Child Support and Alimony Orders: The next most pressing order of business in a high-net-worth divorce will involve family court to define temporary child support and spousal support amounts so that life can carry on while your divorce is finalized. If either you or your husband (or both of you) is self-employed or operating your own business, a forensic accountant will likely be appointed. This can either be done by either of you, one or both of you hiring your own accountant, or the court will appoint someone to your divorce case as the family court’s expert.
- Your Attorneys’ Fees: Legal costs are a frequent issue when one spouse makes most or all of the money. The wealthy spouse may deliberately fight and drags things out, knowing that mounting legal fees alone may influence the disadvantaged spouse to cave and settle for less. Either way, the not-as-wealthy spouse will probably want a contribution toward his or her lawyer’s fees. How will that be decided? Will attorney fees be awarded from the higher earning spouse’s income? Will bank accounts be split? Will assets be sold? Depending upon your particular case, answers will vary. Most certainly though, if the spouses cannot reach reasonable agreements early on, the attorneys’ fees in a high-net-worth divorce will add up quickly.
The Law Offices of Paul H. Nathan have helped many women in situations similar to yours, and we can do the same for you. Call us today if you have questions about how to cut your losses in your high-net-worth divorce.