Top Mistakes Made During a High Net Worth Divorce

Posted By Taub & Taub, P.C. || 14-Oct-2014

Divorce has a well-deserved reputation for being stressful, emotional, and unpleasant. Considering you have invested so much time, energy and effort into building a marriage, there are so many factors to consider when dissolving it, such as dividing marital assets, dividing marital debt, child custody, visitation, and so much more. Often, divorcing couples have points of contention and each side lets emotions drive their divorce proceedings, which is not the best idea.

Do you need a divorce attorney? Most definitely. You would be surprised how even a consultation can arm you with valuable information. Hiring a good lawyer is well worth the time, and the investment. Considering what you stand to lose financially or family wise, you do not want something such as ignorance of the law, or an emotional reaction to stress to negatively impact the outcome of your divorce.

While the stakes are always high, if you are a high net worth individual, the stakes are even higher. Whenever there is valuable real estate, large amounts of assets, business and real estate interests, you have the potential for more costly mistakes from both sides. Divorce is arguably a very emotional time, and most people are not in the best frame of mind to make wise decisions that result in the best long-term outcomes.

With more than 40 years of combined experience handling high net worth and contested divorces, here are the top mistakes made during a high net worth divorce:

  1. Hiding Assets: Transfers to friends or family members are common when divorce is on the horizon; however, such transfers will usually be set aside as fraudulent. You lose your credibility and thereafter, you are in a losing position and it's just not worth it.
  2. Readily Agreeing to Anything: Whether someone can't stand their spouse, or they just want to get out, or if they are in love with someone else, sometimes they readily agree to anything to obtain the divorce. Agreeing to an unbalanced settlement because you are in a rush or feel guilty can have devastating effects on you financially.
  3. Letting Guilt Cloud Your Vision: When a spouse feels responsible for the divorce, or when they are desperate to get out, the guilt can cloud their vision and they can give more than they should. An example would be a wife who waives her alimony claims, or a husband who agrees to give his separate assets to his wife. When it comes to money, spouses should view it as the equivalent of a business dissolution and should not make decisions based on emotions.
  4. Failing to Look Deeper: In most high net worth marriages, at least one of the parties is financially sophisticated. Because of this, it is important and often necessary to invest money in investigating whether other assets or income exist, but are not readily apparent. If you accept what your spouse is telling you because you don't want to invest in an in-depth financial investigation or analysis, it can be a costly mistake on your part.

On a Final Note

If you are contemplating divorce and have not yet filed, consulting with an attorney sooner than later would be a smart move. It is always better to be prepared before you react emotionally or act hastily, especially if your spouse may also be considering divorce. It is always recommended to get the facts before you act, because the best defense is a good offense.

As any divorce lawyer would agree, getting married is much easier than ending one, and that is why it is important that you have the right lawyer if that day comes. If you are getting a divorce, contact a Sherman Oaks divorce attorney from Taub & Taub, P.C.