How To Protect Your Assets During a High Net Worth Divorce
No one wants to experience a divorce. Nevertheless, marriages dissolve, and when they do, protecting one’s assets becomes a vital concern. Hiring a high net worth divorce lawyer in Gig Harbor, WA becomes important. Many other actions can preserve an estate. Here are a few that are recommended.
Gather Important Documents
Your attorney needs your last three years of financial records. This is mandatory to comply with Probate Court Rule 401, which requires total fiscal disclosure. Make this job easier by maintaining organized files before the prospect of divorce surfaces. Also, a marriage certificate is necessary for your attorney to file an official Complaint of Divorce. Secure yours before doing anything else.
Copy Financial Documents
All sorts of financial records are necessary to prove that specific assets belong to you. Make copies of important papers, such as retirement account statements, bank statements, and tax returns. Purchase a standalone safe where you can put them so that your spouse cannot interfere by destroying or altering them.
Collect Benefits Information
Health and dental coverage may be denied if you cannot prove enrollment. Additionally, your former partner may be unwilling to cooperate and help assure that your benefits continue. Be certain you have relevant membership cards and that the information on them is readable. If not, collect this data as soon as possible.
Separate Shared Accounts
Vindictive partners sometimes empty the coffers of their soon-to-be ex. Prevent this possibility by placing your money in accounts that bear only your name. If your spouse has individual bank accounts, retirement accounts, or investments, make an effort to uncover recent paperwork that sheds light on them. Securely store what you find along with other important records.
Establish Individual Credit
You’re in a dangerous position if the only credit card you use has your partner’s name on it. Remedy this situation by applying for your own. Using a card that’s just yours will help build your personal credit, giving you essential flexibility when difficult economic situations arise.
Inventory Valuable Items
List everything that you and your spouse own; it does not matter whether these treasures are held individually or jointly. These possessions include but are not limited to:
- Real estate
- Family heirlooms
Take pictures of and order appraisals for especially high-ticket commodities. Think ahead about what you’d be willing to bargain away in exchange for something else.
3 Questions To Ask a High Net Worth Divorce Lawyer
You are going through something you maybe didn’t expect. Getting a divorce can feel like a punch to the gut. In addition, the process can be a long road. Between the emotional ups and downs, you have to work with dividing your assets. This can be trickier if you and your spouse have a high net worth.
The Robinson & Hadeed Family Law office understands that you want to be sure everything gets divided easily. Asking a high net worth divorce lawyer in Gig Harbor, WA, some questions can help you find an agreeable outcome.
How Can This Be Different From a Typical Divorce?
In this trying time, you may have friends offering their experience. Perhaps you’ve looked online for advice on what to expect. Remember that divorce is different. This is especially true if there is a high net worth involved.
A high net worth divorce lawyer in Gig Harbor, WA, can look over your specific situation. They can explain what to expect and advise a good course of action to take. Keep in mind that your situation may be different from all the experiences of your friends.
How Are The Assets Divided?
Dividing assets can be a heavy part of the process. There can be a lot of money to work with. Any debts and assets acquired during the marriage are considered. This can take a lot of time to work through.
Adding to the emotional heaviness, some of that money involved could hold extra sentimental value. Examples of this are inheritances from a deceased loved one.
Divorce lawyers work to distribute all assets fairly. Also, the nature of each asset has to be considered. Some assets qualify for equal distribution, but others may not. Many factors influence this. A high net worth divorce lawyer in Gig Harbor, WA, can help you figure out how this applies to your situation.
What About Child Support and Custody Arrangements?
Working on child support and a custody plan comes into play when children are involved. Don’t assume that the spouse who makes more will get full custody or vice versa. Many different factors come into play when it comes time to arrange child support and a custody agreement.
Let a lawyer from the Robinson & Hadeed Family Law firm know about all of the factors surrounding your divorce. That way, you and your attorney can work on a course of action that is appropriate for you.
Four Do’s and Don’ts of a High Net Worth Divorce
Obtaining a divorce is always a long, arduous process. Getting divorced when there’s a significant amount of money at stake is all the more difficult. Couples with a higher net worth have additional concerns when it comes to formally separating their assets. Having a lawyer who understands those concerns takes some of the burden off of your shoulders during this highly emotional time. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to help the process go as smoothly and painlessly as possible:
Do Take Inventory of Your Assets
Taking an inventory of your assets should be one of the first things done in any divorce, but it is especially crucial for high net worth couples to do so. When listing your assets, you may find it helpful to organize them into lists. Taxable versus nontaxable, joint versus individual accounts, which assets are under whose name and more. Organizing your assets this way will aid you later on in the divorce proceedings when determining how to split things up.
Do Obtain a QDRO
A Qualified Domestic Relations Order allows you to split up joint assets such as a retirement account rather than making an early withdrawal and incurring any subsequent penalties. To obtain a QDRO you will need the full name and last known mailing address of your former spouse as well as any other dependents to be paid, and the amount to be paid to each person. Consult with your high net worth divorce lawyer in Gig Harbor, WA to ensure that your form is filed correctly and the deal negotiated is equitable.
Don’t go on a Spending Spree
Avoiding unnecessary expenses is advisable for two reasons. First, divorces can, unfortunately, get ugly, especially when there is a significant amount of money at stake. If your divorce is drawn out in a lengthy legal battle, the legal fees can add up quickly. Second, there is a myth that when seeking alimony if you increase your spending before the divorce, you can seek a higher payment. However, this myth is just that, a myth. If you were to be caught doing this in court it may hurt your request rather than help it.
Don’t Purposefully Hide Assets
Under Washington law, all parties in the divorce are required to make a complete financial disclosure including assets, debts, income and expenses. Failure to do so will hurt your position in the divorce and may incur further legal penalties.
Getting a divorce is never easy, but following these tips and obtaining proper legal counsel can help alleviate some of the burdens. Let your lawyers focus on the court so you can focus on what’s important: healing and starting over.
Handling these tasks is much easier with a high net worth divorce lawyer Gig Harbor, WA by your side. Hire one of our high net worth divorce lawyers Gig Harbor, WA at Robinson & Hadeed to make sure you maintain maximum control over your property.