Couples at all income levels divorce, but the process is often more complex among high-asset couples. With higher incomes and more assets involved, divorce can be challenging and contentious.
To make sure the process goes as smoothly as possible, and that there is a fair settlement, there are some tips for couples to follow.
Dive deep for assets
Not only are there more assets involved, but there are typically various types of assets to negotiate. To find all available assets, FindLaw recommends conducting a deep and thorough search because assets include more than just houses, vehicles, furniture, jewelry and artwork. Consider stocks and offshore accounts as well as deferred compensation, trusts, retirement plans, tax benefits and more. For those who suspect the other spouse may be hiding assets, it may be worth hiring a financial investigator.
One consideration with high asset divorces is that the spouses may want to keep information shared during the divorce process private. Wealthy individuals often do not want their finances and other assets known to the public. One way is to ask the courts to seal certain documents.
Another option is to go through mediation. According to the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation, mediation involves a neutral third party who helps each side negotiate and come to an acceptable and fair settlement. Not only are the proceedings and information shared kept private, but the process is also less combative than litigation. Couples tend to communicate better and make fewer emotional-based decisions.
Mediation may be a good choice if the couple is willing to communicate and work with each other. With the assistance of professional help from accountants, etc., even complex financial situations can fare well with mediation.
Get legal help
No matter whether a couple decides to go through mediation or court litigation, each side should spend the money on an attorney. There is too much at stake to forgo this step or hire an inexperienced one.