Divorce is an upsetting process regardless of circumstances, but adding a high net worth to the equation makes it more challenging. It is a good idea to go into the process with a strong sense of what to expect. A high net worth divorce attorney will usually tell a client to anticipate or do the following three things.
Know the State's Laws
Plenty of issues in the divorce process boil down to how your state approaches the question of what does or doesn't count as marital property. There are two distinct state-level views of divorce in America.
In a common law system, assets belong to whoever's name is on the title, deed, account documents, or other paperwork attesting to ownership. If a couple had a joint checking account, for example, the court would treat the division as an even split. Conversely, the court would treat anything with one spouse's name on the title as belonging solely to that person.
The second system is community property. In states using this system, most earnings and acquired assets from the time of the marriage belong to both partners. Suppose one partner purchased a car and titled it in their name. The other person would have half the interest in the vehicle.
Make sure when you contact a high net worth attorney that they're licensed to practice in your state. This will ensure they can provide the most detailed possible advice about your state's divorce system.
Find and Copy Documents
To the extent that anything will deviate from the community property or common law setup that your state uses, the issue will hinge on what you can document. If you had a pre-marital agreement, make sure to pull the original and make copies of it. The same goes for anything you might have a title to. Someone in a community property state might have documentation showing they acquired the title to a house before they married, for example.
Especially if you intend to fight the terms of a signed document, it's important to have supporting evidence. Communications are critical to characterizing the circumstances surrounding the signing of a document. If you assert that a pre-marital contract was signed under pressure, for example, the argument will mostly depend on showing communications that indicate there was pressure to sign.
As with documents, make copies. If you're not familiar with using digital systems to save things like texts, emails, and social media posts, a high net worth divorce attorney and their staff can assist you.
For more information, contact a local high net worth divorce attorney.Share