Divorce can be difficult, no matter what the circumstances are. Leaving aside the emotional aspects, a divorce can be technically more complex when the parties have substantial financial resources and assets.
High-asset divorce overview
In a high-asset divorce, it can be complex to divide property and financial resources. These assets may include real estate, investment portfolios, retirement accounts, jewelry and artwork collections, luxury cars and business interests, among others. It may be necessary to use a financial expert or appraiser who can accurately value the property.
Real estate can include the marital home as well as any vacation homes or rental property. Other possessions like antiques, collectables and high-end furniture will also need to be evaluated and divided.
The parties may also need to consider other factors like a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, the tax impact of the divorce and spousal support. It’s important to keep in mind that debts must also be divided in the divorce.
Hidden assets may add complexity to the process as well. These are assets that one spouse fails to disclose to the other spouse during the divorce process so they will not be divided.
These may include undisclosed bank accounts, investment accounts, or offshore accounts. In addition, one spouse may hide cash in the home or store it in a seldom-used safe deposit box. One spouse may also try to defer compensation, like a bonus, until after the divorce so it is not divided.
An experienced professional can help spouses locate these assets, however, to ensure that they are divided equitably.