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How to Prepare for a High-Asset Divorce

Posted by Charles E. Barnabi | Jun 22, 2017 | 0 Comments

Divorce is never an easy experience, even under amicable circumstances. Separating a unified life is going to have its complications, especially when there is a wealth of assets and property involved. Spouses might not be able to agree on how their assets are to be divided, how much alimony is appropriate, who gets to keep the house, and who can keep the piece of art that costs a small fortune. With such high stakes involved, it is common for anger, resentment, and other unpleasant emotions to rear their ugly heads. Preparation, however, can make this process run more smoothly, so here are some tips to help you navigate your high-asset divorce:

  1. Look through your records to verify assets: Did you buy an expensive item or piece of property prior to your marriage? You will need the documents to prove it. This is crucial because you want to ensure anything that is separate property stays with you and does not end up on the chopping block for division. If you inherited assets, property, or received gifts from your family, these are often considered separate property and you will need to verify it. Documents such as wills, trusts, financial statements, deeds to real property, or insurance policies can all be helpful in this process, so be sure to locate them.
  2. Collect and keep track of attorney bills: High-asset divorces have the potential to rack up costs. Keep track of them since it will be part of the final total once your divorce is settled.
  3. Be aware of cheating: This point is not referring to infidelity, but rather to spouses who try to hide assets to shelter them from being fairly divided. Did your spouse have a fancy 10 carat diamond bracelet that can no longer be located? Keep track of discrepancies and find proof of the existence of any items that might be “lost.” In fact, it would be wise to take photos of all the valuables you own, so if any suddenly go missing, you have evidence they existed.
  4. Take your half: When the time comes to splitting assets, you might end up with items you never liked or wanted, but you should not pass them up on that basis alone. If you hate your spouse's Harley, but it is being offered to you, guess what? You can sell it. When it comes to the asset and property division aspect of divorce, this is essentially a business transaction, so try to see the monetary value in every item that gets put on the table.
  5. Do not assume you will be awarded spousal support: Spousal support, or alimony, is often awarded to a spouse for his or her contribution to the marriage, and provides financial support until that spouse is able to achieve financial independence. The court considers many factors when making a decision regarding spousal support, including the earning capacity of each spouse, contributions made to the household or to a spouse's career, and the physical health of a recipient.
  6. Try not to have your heart set on certain things: If you have a home in Hawaii, you cannot assume it will not get sold to split the assets between you and your ex-spouse. This is likely the case if two incomes made the purchase of that home possible. Additionally, you might not even be able to continue to afford some of the luxury items you enjoyed throughout your marriage. If you had a yacht in Miami, you might get to keep it, but can you continue to pay the docking fees or maintenance costs? It is important to consider all of these things before fighting tooth and nail for something that might no longer be practical for your lifestyle change.
  7. Be aware of your spouse's debt: Does your spouse have a gambling addiction, or a habit of spending recklessly? In community property states like Nevada, you will be responsible for half of that debt even if it is not in your name. Even in an equitable distribution state, your spouse's debt might also be your problem if you held credit cards or loans jointly. To avoid any surprises, get a full credit report. You do not want to have to pay for your spouse's irresponsible financial behavior.

Property Division in Nevada

If you are in the midst of a divorce and are concerned about receiving your fair share of marital property, it is important to seek skilled representation from an experienced divorce attorney. At McDonald Law Offices, PLLC, we are ready to listen to your concerns and goals. We understand there is no such thing as a one-size-fits-all approach to divorce, so our attentive Henderson divorce attorneys pride themselves on providing a tailored and personalized approach for our clients. Property division, especially in high-asset divorce cases, can be complicated, but we are ready to put forth a reasonable and compelling claim to the assets that mean most to you during this uncertain time in your life.

The rules regarding property and asset division are not always black and white since there is often some inevitable commingling of assets during the course of a marriage. Regardless of your circumstances, our firm is ready to develop an approach that makes securing the property you deserve a priority.

Start exploring your options today. Call us at (702) 850-8004 to get started.

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