When a woman announces she is filing for divorce, friends appear by her side to offer well-meaning support and advice. Some of them have already survived a high-asset divorce and have lived to tell the tale. They may tell entertaining but irrelevant stories about their husband's legal team or gloat over how they won a hotly contested asset.
Other friends are professional women who are knowledgeable in several impressive fields such as accounting, finance, business or personal injury law. A woman may find the personal injury lawyer's suggestions particularly compelling. After all, a divorce hurts. A high-asset divorce may hurt more.
When friends and colleagues offer advice: a word of caution
A woman who occasionally experiences irregular heartbeats may ask her friend, an oncology nurse, what to do about a cardiac problem. The nurse feels sympathetic, but she gently reminds the woman that oncology nurses are not usually repositories of heart disease information. The prospective heart attack victim may then turn to a friend who practices dentistry. She asks him if he thinks she might have atrial fibrillation. The dentist, who happens to enjoy reading medical novels, reels off a list of AFib symptoms. He explains the connection between gum disease and heart disease, and tentatively suggests that a good dental cleaning may be in order.
After hearing advice from numerous friends and relatives, a woman contemplating a high-asset divorce may end up feeling more shaken than stirred. She suddenly has an abundance of useless "expert" advice. The suggestions are not relevant because none of the woman's friends have the education, certification or experience to handle a high-asset divorce.
A woman contemplating a high-asset divorce should take these medical mismatch analogies to heart. After all, one does not consult a podiatrist when looking for a brain surgeon. One also does not consult a garden-variety attorney when a high-asset divorce attorney specializes in the right area.
High-asset divorce; high-asset professional
A woman contemplating a high-asset divorce should look no further than a competent family law attorney who is well-versed in high-asset divorce planning, including amicable divorce for friendly marital partners who decide to go their separate ways. A good family law attorney can also leverage the complex court litigation unique to each high-asset scenario and bring in appropriate experts, such as forensic accountants, for divorcing couples who pull out the heavy artillery. Most high-asset couples generally bog down in court when it comes time to divide the assets if their attorneys are not up to the challenge.
The best thing a woman can do is to gather all her financial records, marital tax returns, proof of personal holdings such as her inheritance before marriage that she wisely did not commingle with a joint marital checking account—and find an attorney with a reputation for excelling in high-asset divorce cases. She will receive sound, valuable advice and the best opportunity to receive an equitable and fair divorce settlement.