Whether you’re fighting over a modest bank account, debt, or lots of valuable assets, divorce is still a transaction. Some are more difficult and cumbersome to get through than others, but all involve finances and emotions. As for a high-asset divorce, it must be thought of as a business transaction, and each party should be fully aware and invested.
The most important actions you can take to prepare for this transaction are:
1. Educate Yourself.
Learn about your finances, whether you were in charge or completely clueless during the marriage, now is the time to know what you and your spouse jointly hold. You can’t be prepared to negotiate a fair deal if you don’t know exactly what it is you’re fighting over.
2. Look for What’s Hidden.
If assets like art, jewelry, coins, vehicles, or other large valuables go missing, it’s noticeable, but what about the things you can’t easily see? Look for conspicuous transfers out of bank accounts and investments. Hiding assets during divorce is pretty common and can lead to lengthy discovery periods to the detriment of all parties involved. Make sure you know what’s going on and where your assets are.
3. Maintain Your Records.
Hang on to records that indicate the assets you and your spouse have, where it is, and the money that goes in and out of your accounts. If you and your spouse have separate assets, the records showing they are separate property are essential: wills, trusts, financial statements and insurance policies. Make sure you keep copies of everything and provide copies for your attorney to use in negotiations.
4. Remember Future Costs.
When considering which assets you wish to keep in the divorce, remember what it costs to maintain those assets. You may want the vacation condo, but can you afford the HOA and taxes on it? Remember the future cost of what you’re seeking in the divorce, because it may be better not to take on assets you won’t be able to maintain.
High asset divorce is made much easier with an attorney who is seasoned and familiar with the process. If you are considering or going through a divorce, contact The Boutique Law Group, APLC to learn more about what you should be doing and how best to protect your interests. Consultations are free, there is no obligation, and we are happy to meet with you in any of our 7 Southern California locations! Call (310)439-5670, or visit blgcal.com to learn more.