High Asset Divorce: 5 Things You Need to Know

At Eric C. Cheshire, P.A., we know how to approach a high asset divorce.  Here are just some of our top tips for you.

Take Your Time

Often, people getting a divorce seek to rush the process. This is rarely beneficial.  Particularly in a high asset divorce, taking your time is essential to a fair and equitable settlement.  Property must be valued, future earnings must be calculated, and debts must be assessed.  These things take time.

Carefully Account for All Debts

One of the biggest mistakes made in high asset divorces is a failure to account for all debts.  It is in everyone’s best interests to avoid this mistake.  Debts must be identified so they can be included in the final divorce decree.  Failure to do so could result in an inequitable division of assets and debts.

Reveal All Assets

Failing to reveal all assets is perpetrating a fraud upon the court.  It could come with both criminal and civil penalties. People hiding assets in high asset divorces almost always get caught. Parties must reveal assets completely and up front.  Then the attorneys can work towards a fair settlement.  If there is something you feel particularly strongly about keeping, let your attorney know this.  They can account for this in negotiations.

Joint Businesses and High Asset Divorce

Often, divorcing couples with high assets own a business or businesses together. There are three ways to address a jointly held business when couples divorce.  These include the following:

  • One person retains the business, buying out the other party;
  • The parties continue to operate the business jointly even after the divorce;
  • The parties sell the business.

Which approach is best depends on the nature of the business, as well as the nature of the relationship of the parties during and after the divorce.

Retirement Accounts, Stocks, Bonds, and Profit Sharing

Retirement accounts must be evaluated to determine first, whether they are marital property, non-marital property, or a combination of both.  Stocks and bonds must be valued to determine fair distribution of property.  Profit sharing must similarly be evaluated.  This is particularly true for profit sharing benefits which were earned during the marriage, but not collected during the marriage.

Hiring an Expert

Often, particularly in high asset divorces, it is a good idea to hire an expert or experts to assist in valuing the joint property of a divorcing couple.  A forensic accountant may be appropriate to audit the books of a jointly held business, for example.  A forensic accountant is also useful if one party believes the other party is hiding assets.  However, even when things are completely above board, an expert may be of assistance.  High asset divorces include assets from real property to boats to jewelry to art.  Using an expert to determine value is in everyone’s best interests.

If you are Considering Divorce

If you are considering divorce, contact the Law Firm of Eric C. Cheshire, P.A.  Eric C. Cheshire has the experience you need to handle your high asset divorce.  Don’t leave this important process to someone less experienced. Contact us today at (561) 677-8090.  We look forward to working with you.  With nearly 30 years of experience, Eric C. Cheshire knows how to approach your high asset divorce.

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