Any divorce involves unique challenges and difficult proceedings, but high-asset divorces are particularly complicated. Legal and financial issues get more complex, and emotions tend to run higher as a result. The basic aspects that make up divorce proceedings remain the same, such as spousal support, property division, and child custody. However, couples who have a high number of assets and finances need to take special care to avoid the common issues and lengthy discussions that can hold up divorce proceedings.
Here are some things to avoid in your high-asset divorce:
- Hiding Assets
It’s a big mistake to intentionally hide assets from your spouse. Some people do this because they believe something is rightfully theirs and don’t want their spouse to have it. They may put their finances in another account or transfer an asset to a family member. If you intentionally avoid putting an item on financial disclosure forms, or otherwise try to hide it, this is fraud.
Hidden assets are very often uncovered during the divorce process. Once discovered, you are unlikely to have any negotiating power in discussions or in court. Your spouse is likely to receive a greater portion of assets because of this misconduct. You could also face fines and criminal charges.
- Failing to Investigate Your Spouse’s Assets
You also want to be sure your spouse is not attempting to hide assets. Even if you and your spouse are on good terms, it’s not something you want to ignore. Even if nothing has purposefully been hidden, an incorrect valuation of assets can alter the outcome of your divorce settlement. An accurate and fair valuation of all property and assets is essential to arriving at a fair and equitable solution for all parties.
- Entering the Divorce While Being Argumentative
Going into a high-asset divorce assuming that you and your spouse are going to be contentious and argue is likely to lead to exactly that. Make a plan with your divorce attorney and attempt to cooperate with your spouse. Mediation is much less expensive and time-consuming than litigation, and it has less of a negative impact on you and your relationship with your spouse.
- Acting on Emotions
For most couples, divorce is incredibly emotional and stressful. Although there is no avoiding that, it’s important to deal with your emotions in a healthy manner and not allow them to lead your decision-making. You could end up agreeing to a property division settlement that isn’t fair to you or face penalties for actions you take in anger or frustration. Deal with the issues before you as professionally as possible, and work with a high-asset divorce attorney to help guide your decisions and protect your interests.
- Accepting an Early Settlement Offer
Because many people want to get the process of divorce over with quickly, they may accept a settlement offer that is unfair and creates significant financial problems later in life. Although divorce and its decisions are difficult, it’s essential to give them the right amount of consideration and legal counsel to ensure your rights and interests are protected in the future.
- Bad Financial Planning
Any divorce can be rife with financial mistakes. You want to ensure that there is a proper valuation of all your assets and that all marital assets are accounted for. It’s also important to consider the tax consequences of divorce. During divorce, it’s useful to work with a professional so that you understand what taxes you could owe on asset transfers or spousal support.
- Failing to Hire a High Net Worth Divorce Attorney
When you’re involved in a high net worth divorce, you don’t want to leave the outcome to chance. Divorce is stressful, and there’s a lot on the line. High asset divorces have additional legal and tax implications that you may not be aware of.
A high net worth divorce attorney has experience with those issues and knows how to handle them for your particular circumstances. An attorney can also ensure that your rights and interests are protected during mediation or negotiation. High net worth divorces bring up a lot of worries about financial security, and the right way to protect your financial future is with a skilled attorney.
Q: What Is Considered a High Net Worth Divorce?
A: A high net worth divorce does not have an exact definition. Generally, it refers to a couple who have more than $1 million in combined assets. These couples have all the same issues as most divorces, including spousal support, child custody and support, and property division. However, a higher number of assets brings additional complications and makes the division of property significantly more complex.
Q: How Are Assets Split in Divorce in Missouri?
A: Missouri operates under an equitable distribution system, meaning marital property is divided equitably and reasonably between spouses, but not perfectly 50/50. Marital property is any assets and property acquired throughout the course of a couple’s marriage, while non-marital property is any assets they owed separately prior to being married. There are some exceptions, as some marital property can be determined to be non-marital, while separate property can sometimes become marital property.
Q: What Is the Wife Entitled to in a Divorce in Missouri?
A: Both spouses are entitled to an equitable, but not equal, amount of shared property. The court will look at several factors when determining what is equitable. This includes:
- The length of marriage
- The financial status and earning capacity of each spouse
- The age and health of each spouse
- Any prior child support or child care obligations of either spouse
- How each spouse conducted themselves in the marriage, including whether there was misconduct
- The contributions of each spouse to marital assets
The court will also review non-monetary contributions, such as caring for children.
Q: Is Missouri a 50-50 Divorce State?
A: No, Missouri is not a 50-50 divorce state. Instead of evenly splitting marital assets, the court tries to split them equitably. Equitable distribution takes several factors about the marriage into account, including the financial and non-financial contributions of each spouse and whether there was any misconduct. Based on the unique factors of a marriage, the court will distribute property in a reasonable way.
Stange Law Firm: High Asset Divorce Attorneys in Kansas City
It’s essential to have an experienced attorney work with you on a high asset divorce. At Stange Law Firm, we can advocate for your interests, look for hidden assets, and protect your future. Contact our team today to see how we can assist with your divorce proceedings.