Wondering what could go wrong in your high net worth divorce? Here are 7 errors to avoid, based on the top mistakes individuals generally make:
1. Being deceitful when it comes to asset disclosure. Hiding assets to avoid having them taken from you in your divorce may seem like a good idea, but it rarely pays off. This strategy is almost always discovered. This behavior will damage your credibility with the judge, as well as potentially opening you up to criminal charges.
2. Letting emotions fuel your actions. No one disagrees that divorce is an emotion-laden experience; allowing rage, jealousy, or guilt to govern what you do and how you behave during your divorce proceedings is a big mistake. Keeping a level head will allow you to achieve the best end result.
3. Not thinking about the long term. Carefully examine all assets, including high value or income producing assets, before attempting to obtain them in your divorce. While worth a significant amount, these assets may likely carry high associated expenses, debt, and taxes that you would be solely responsible for after the divorce.
4. Doing inaccurate accounting. Don’t rush through filling in the information required in your financial affidavit and providing the required financial documents. The information contained in these documents will be used to determine what assets and liabilities you will receive and may be a major factor in the court’s assessment of alimony and child support issues. Work closely with your attorney and the financial team in your case before releasing any of your financial information or documents.
5. Not investigating. Just because you are being honest doesn’t mean your spouse is also being forthright. Invest resources in investigating your spouse’s financial disclosures and assertions to ensure they are accurate. As Ronald Reagan once said “Trust; but Verify”.
6. Signing too quickly. You may be eager to put your divorce behind you, but it doesn’t mean you should sign something you don’t fully understand. Have a qualified high net worth divorce attorney and the professionals on your divorce team analyze every document before you put your signature on it.
7. Not hiring the right attorney. The selection of your attorney is the most important decision you will make during your divorce. Considering what is at stake, it is critical to have the best-equipped ally and advocate in your corner.
High net worth divorces can be very complicated and contain numerous pitfalls and dangers for the inexperienced. By enlisting the services of an experienced lawyer, you can have a better chance of navigating the entire process without incident and walk away with what should be yours.