Divorcing couples who own a minimum of $1,000,000 in liquid assets are considered “high-asset,” which has its own set of issues and potential complications that must be addressed differently than other divorces because they are not like other divorces.
The unique challenges posed by this type of divorce can lead parties to make critical mistakes that can make the divorce process even more complex and you should avoid making them. Some of these mistakes are listed below.
Assuming that if you do not have a prenuptial agreement, the divorce will be contentious.
Prenuptial agreements (prenups) are helpful in certain respects but limited in what they can do by law. If you and your spouse have significant wealth and no prenup, consider that the two wealthiest couples in the world, who recently divorced, did not have prenups. Instead, they chose to settle their issues with their attorneys in Mediation. A skilled mediator can help and facilitate a non-adversarial conversation and good-faith negotiation between the parties.
Hiding financial assets, debts or acting in bad faith.
In all divorces, the parties must exchange their financials in good faith, no matter how much is at stake. In the court system, this is the discovery process. Whatever method you use in your divorce, be honest and do not fall for the trap of hiding assets or debts or acting in bath faith at any time.
If your spouse or the court suspects that someone is hiding assets or acting in bad faith, they can hire a forensic accountant to investigate the financials in the case, including company financials. Forensic accountants are good at what they do, and they seldom miss things. In addition, lying to the court can get you in serious trouble.
Being unprepared for life after divorce.
Divorce will require lifestyle changes for both parties. These changes are difficult for people, and it is vital for the parties in any divorce to have a robust support system, seek help if they need to and slowly accept the changes that come with a divorce.
You may feel like you are swimming in uncharted waters, but many people have gone through this before, and just like them, you can get to the other side. Be patient and compassionate with yourself.
Divorce is hard for everyone, no matter how much money is at stake. However, you do have the benefit of resources to help you not only choose the best strategy for how you will manage your divorce but also resources that will help you recover.