How To Protect Your Assets During a High Net Worth Divorce 

 high net worth divorce lawyer in Gig Harbor, WA

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
  • Vehicles
  • Artwork
  • Collectibles
  • Jewelry
  • 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.

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.