Whenever a couple decides to end their marriage, it can create a lot of stress, uncertainty, complications and sleepless nights for each spouse involved. This can especially be true if you are considering or going through a high-asset divorce. Any divorce that involves a total amount of assets of at least $1 million is technically a high-asset divorce.
There are a myriad of financial matters that often come into play during these cases, including real estate properties, 401(k)s and other investment accounts, business valuations, inheritances and much more. In the state of Washington — a community property state — each spouse can claim equal ownership of all property acquired during the marriage. Because of this and with so much at stake financially in a high-asset divorce, having adequate support and guidance throughout the entire process can prove invaluable.
Minimizing the odds of complications
One of the first and most important steps involved in the division of marital property is identifying all assets owned by both you and your soon-to-be ex. From here, you will need to determine exactly which items are separate versus marital property. Sadly, there are far too many high-asset divorce cases that involve hidden assets, where one spouse fails to disclose all his or her assets. Having professional assistance by your side during this critical step can significantly lessen the odds of this occurring.
Another important thing for you to consider during this time involves any potential third-party claims to some of your marital assets. High-net-worth families often share ownership of their generational wealth. This can result in significant complications to an already complex situation if one spouse’s children, sibling or other close family member has a right to a portion of the assets not initially accounted for.
There are many other critical considerations as you prepare for your high-asset divorce, including the following:
- Taking all marital debt into account
- Considering all possible tax ramifications
- Determining the potential long-term value of all assets involved
- Accounting for child support — if applicable
- Planning any major future financial endeavors for you and your children
With all that is involved in a typical high-asset divorce and the unique complexities of your situation, chances are you may be feeling somewhat overwhelmed. Fortunately, by getting an early start and carefully navigating your way through this trying time, you can alleviate much of the stress involved and put yourself on the path toward a brighter future.