Most couples marry with the expectation that their marriage will last forever. Unfortunately, that doesn’t always happen.
While divorce is nothing new, discussions that occur as part of the divorce negotiations are unique to each case. There are some common issues that couples of means must consider when initiating property division discussions.
Why high-asset divorces can be more complicated
The assets that couples of means tend to have are generally more diversified than others. It can be challenging to hone in on the value of these assets, thus making it hard for couples to easily divide them up, including:
- Diverse streams of income: You may own some companies of your own then have an ownership stake in others. This can make it challenging to understand property division and support obligations.
- More real estate: You may own more than one residence, some domestically and abroad and also rentals. All property discussions begin with an inventory of assets. It’s critical to have an appraiser assess the value of your real estate early on in negotiations.
- Complex investment portfolios: You may have multiple investments, including bonds, stocks and mutual funds. You may need a forensic accountant to step in to hone in on their value before initiating any property division discussions, as they tend to often fluctuate depending on maturity and market factors.
Even a major breadwinner’s compensation structure can sometimes be complicated, which can also lead to disputes over how much that spouse actually earns in any given year.
Why conflict often exists in high-asset divorces
Many prominent, wealthy couples want to keep the end of their marriage and all things that go with it private. Their spouses may think that publicly exposing their husband or wife’s “dirty laundry” will help them gain better leverage in property division or child custody discussions.
This difference in objectives between spouses often gives way to conflict. While a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement can greatly minimize potential conflict, not every couple of means has such an agreement in place — especially if they married before they found financial success.
You two can resolve your differences fairly without a public spectacle and losing everything you’ve worked hard for. Take charge of your divorce now to achieve an amicable end to your marriage.