READ THIS to understand important property and asset division issues and potential mistakes during a high net worth divorce…
The typical high net worth and asset divorce case includes:
- A primary residence which may be valued at millions of dollars
- Rental property, residential or commercial properties or land
- Vehicles including cars, watercraft, etc.
- Traditional bank accounts but also stock or brokerage accounts
- A business or businesses some of which may be actively operated by the high net worth individual while others are operated as a passive investment
- 401K, IRA or pensions although these are less common with private business owners and far more common for executives of larger companies
- Life insurance policies, term and life.
- Trademarks, patents and copyrights, otherwise known as intellectual property
- In some cases, investment opportunities that have not yet come to fruition.
OK… so we have a list of the things that we’d need to take into account in terms of property division.
For us at the firm our number one goal is to make sure you get the best representation possible so you get to keep what’s rightfully yours.
But due to emotions running high I’ve seen people completely lose sight of key issues in a high net worth divorce case that negatively effect who gets what.
Many of the most common mistakes people make during high-net worth divorces revolve around unfamiliarity with the process (and that’s another reason to work with an experienced high net worth divorce attorney).
Some of the most common high-asset divorce mistakes we see include:
- Not properly valuing businesses and other interests
- Hiding assets or failing to investigate the other property
- Agreeing to anything just to get it over with
HIGH-ASSET DIVORCE MISTAKE #1: NOT PROPERLY VALUING BUSINESSES AND OTHER INTERESTS
If a couple is running a business, each side needs to have its interests valuated. Owning non-family partnerships, shared retirement assets, trusts, and real estate holdings can further complicate the process. Private and public firms need to be valuated, as do IRAs, pensions, stock options, and other financial holdings.
This always requires an expert’s help. Whether the valuation expert you hire uses the comparable company analysis or an estimated discounted cash flow method, it’s important that you only work with a qualified professional.
HIGH-ASSET DIVORCE MISTAKE #2: HIDING ASSETS OR FAILING TO INVESTIGATE THE OTHER PARTY
Hiding assets is illegal, and your attorney will advise you to come clean about all the property and holdings subject to your divorce case. If you fail to provide adequate information, or if the court finds out you’re purposefully hiding assets, you’re going to lose credibility with the court. That’s true if you transfer assets to a third party, you neglect to share information, or you’re outright fraudulent in concealing assets.
The other party may be hiding assets, as well, which means your attorney and the financial experts you’re working with will need to investigate him or her to make sure everything is on the table.
HIGH-ASSET DIVORCE MISTAKE #3: AGREEING TO ANYTHING JUST TO GET IT OVER WITH
Most people want their divorces to end as quickly as possible, and if you feel that way, you’re definitely not alone. However, it’s nearly always a mistake to agree to everything your soon-to-be ex-spouse demands just so you can get things over with faster.
In fact, you shouldn’t agree to anything until a complete valuation has taken place and you’ve talked to a financial adviser. Even if you feel guilty over the divorce, or you’re in a rush to split because you’ve found someone else, don’t make any agreements without discussing them with your attorney first.
IMPORTANT: All of this that I’ve just shared with you can be extremely intimidating and overwhelming which is why we offer a FREE Phone Consultation to ask questions and get clear on the things that will have the biggest impact in your case and situation.
The first step is to call (631) 543-3700 or fill in the form below this post and one of our senior partners will contact you as soon as they are available.