High Asset Divorce Mistakes That Can Cost You
What Is a High Asset Divorce?
If a divorcing couple has a large amount or breadth of assets (worth a substantial amount of money), they are typically considered to be involved in a high-asset divorce. High asset divorces can involve assets including but not limited to:
- Business interests
- Corporate ownership
- Luxury homes (i.e. primary residences, vacation or second homes)
- Intellectual property
- High-end vehicles, boats, or airplanes
- Investment portfolios
High Asset Divorce Mistakes You Can’t Afford to Make
Every divorce case is different, and no two cases (or couples) are alike. However, if you are involved in a high-asset divorce, you should avoid these common mistakes.
- Trying to hide assets from your spouse. During discovery, both parties are required to fully disclose their assets, income, and debts. Failure to disclose assets or attempting to conceal assets (or debts) is not advisable, because you can face serious consequences (i.e., perjury charges, being found in contempt of court, losing more assets, etc.).
- Not working with a forensic accountant. Forensic accountants can not only help you with a business valuation but can also help uncover hidden assets, ensure both parties disclose relevant financial information, and determine the value of your separate and marital property.
- Improperly valuing assets. While you may think you know what an asset or property is worth, you should have the asset properly appraised or evaluated. Knowing the accurate value of an asset can ensure you and your spouse equitably split your property (in negotiations or litigation).
- Not considering mediation. Florida is an equitable distribution state, which means assets will be divided equitably rather than equally (or 50/50). If your case goes to court, the division of assets will be left up to the court, and what seems fair and equitable to the court may not seem so to you. To control how assets are split, you and your soon-to-be-ex-spouse can consider mediation where you negotiate and determine the terms of your divorce yourself.
- Agreeing to unfavorable terms. Some people want to expedite the process, and they make rushed decisions. In making these hasty decisions, people agree to an unfavorable division of assets or spousal maintenance terms. This can be especially costly as the decisions you make during your divorce will affect your financial future.
- Acting out of spite or solely based on your emotions. Getting divorced can elicit a wide range of emotions—from anger, entitlement, bitterness, and spitefulness to sadness, nostalgia, and loneliness. While you should honor and process your emotions, you shouldn’t allow your emotions to drive you or affect your decision-making.
- Not considering tax implications. After you get divorced, a lot will change including your tax filing status. Your tax liability may also increase depending on the assets you retain during the divorce (and their respective capital gain). When you split assets (and make other divorce decisions), you should consider what liabilities and tax regulations you may be subjected to based on the division.
- Retaining the wrong attorney. When you retain an attorney for your high-asset divorce case, you should work with someone honest, reliable, and knowledgeable (as it relates to high-asset divorce matters). At Dale L. Bernstein, Chartered Law Office, our experienced high asset divorce attorney provides clients with tailored solutions, individualized attention, and high-quality representation, and we can help you reach a favorable outcome and protect your interests and assets. Our attorney has over 35 years of legal experience and has helped many clients through complex cases.
If you are a business owner, company executive, or another high-profile individual with your wealth, legacy, and assets at stake (during your divorce), our legal team is equipped to help you protect your assets. Contact us online or at (727) 312-1112 to schedule a case consultation today.