Divorce is difficult. If you are going through a complex, high-asset divorce, things can be even more difficult in some ways. If you just at the beginning of the divorce process, you may be wondering what you can expect from the divorce process and how it differs from a regular divorce.
Your divorce will be affected by the state in which you live. The rules and regulations in one state are not necessarily the same in another state. Some states, like Tennessee, are equitable distribution states, which means that the laws strive to make things equitable, not equal, between divorcing spouses. The only exception to that is if there is a valid prenuptial or postnuptial agreement in place.
Is the concept of a high-asset divorce the same as a regular divorce?
Unfortunately, it usually isn’t as simple as that. When it comes to a complex financial situation and divorce, things often become very complicated. There are often extremely valuable assets involved as well as properties, stock options and valuable intellectual property. When dealing with all of that, it often takes a lot of time and effort to work out the details and the division of all of that between the two people who wish to go their separate ways.
Along with all of that, emotions often run very high as well. The more details there are to work out in a high-asset divorce, the greater the effort that is required, not to mention the extreme level of organization that is needed to successfully execute such a divorce.
What should I keep in mind if I am going through a high-asset divorce?
There are several things that you should keep in mind if you are going through a complex, high-asset divorce.
- Carefully review your finances and arrange your assets in an orderly fashion: It is important for you to go through your papers carefully, such as trust agreements, pre- and post-nuptial agreements, bank statements, tax records, and anything else that you consider relevant. You should ask for appraisals and evaluations of your assets. Include businesses that you own, pension/retirement plans, stocks and stock options, properties, investment real estate, bonuses, vehicles, jewelry and any other valuable assets that you own.
- Establish the value of your assets: This is important and it may not be so easy to establish the value of your assets, depending on what those assets are.
- What you need in the future: You have become accustomed to a particular standard of living and as your household income increased over time, so did your standard of living. With that fact in mind, you will need to anticipate your needs and the needs of your children in the future. Additionally, you will need to include possible spousal support, child support and retirement money in your plan.
- Possibly getting outside help: You may have need for professionals other than a divorce attorney at some point, including a real estate professional, estate planning expert, forensic accountant, or others.
- Eliminate joint accounts: Once you are divorced (or divorcing), you will want to close all of your joint accounts. You will need accounts with only your name on them. Everything should be separate.
- Try mediation: If at all possible, you may want to try to end your divorce through mediation. If you and your soon-to-be ex-spouse have an amicable relationship, you may be able to do that successfully. Mediation is generally less costly and less time-consuming, which is in everyone’s best interests.
- Be as civil as possible: If emotions run too high between you and your ex-spouse, it is probably best to communicate in writing with each other. There is no point in sparring with the other person because you won’t accomplish anything and you certainly will not be productive in moving things along.
Help from a Tennessee divorce attorney
If you are going through a complex, high-asset divorce, the expertise of a Tennessee divorce attorney may prove to be invaluable to your case. The attorney can help you through the process and can help you to protect your rights and those of your children. Hopefully, the outcome of your case will make you feel that you can move on and look forward to a bright future.