5 Mistakes to Avoid During a High Asset Divorce
Among other things, high asset divorce shares one particular aspect with all other types of divorce: it is rarely, if ever, easy. In fact, because so much is being put on the line — marital assets, business assets, trusts, etc., — the stakes are often raised for those in high asset divorces.
Unfortunately, higher stakes often mean higher odds that someone will act impulsively or rashly during the divorce proceedings. That’s why the high net worth divorce lawyers Grimes & Fertitta have compiled this overview of common mistakes we see made during a high asset divorce.
Read on to discover what issues to avoid as you go through the divorce process for a high asset divorce.
1. Hiding assets and/or assuming your spouse has not hidden assets
When facing the potential loss of a beloved item or significant asset, many people are tempted to try and hide that asset to protect it. Others may simply believe that an asset belongs solely to them as separate property instead of community property. But in neglecting to allow the court to classify that asset, they leave themselves vulnerable to being accused of hiding assets.
Regardless, the consequences of hiding assets can be severe and can include jail time.
On the other side of this coin is being too trustful of your ex and assuming that they have fully disclosed their assets. Even if someone “hides” an asset unintentionally, doing so can have significant ramifications in the equitable distribution of assets, and leave you with less than you deserve.
2. Attempting to dissipate or increase assets by making lavish purchases
There are many reasons why someone entering a high asset divorce might think making extravagant purchases is a good idea. These actions rarely bear fruit, and typically get the person who commits them into trouble.
For example, some spouses may try to increase the amount of alimony or spousal support they receive by trying to demonstrate that they lead a more expensive lifestyle. However, if the court discovers that this is the case, they may require you to repay your spouse for the amount you spent.
Others may think that by buying expensive items, they are reducing the amount of money their spouse may receive, while still others may wish to place their ex into (or further into) debt, thinking that they will not bear the burden of that debt once the divorce is finalized.
In the end, however, all property (and not just money) is meant to be distributed equally; the new purchases will be included in calculations, and the debt you acquire during your marriage will also be split 50/50.
3. Being in a hurry
Whether they’re battle-weary or just want to move on with their lives, one of the most frequent issues we see clients struggle with is the desire to wrap up the divorce proceedings with haste. But dividing the assets of your life in a hurry is never a good idea.
For one, if you settle too quickly, you may wind up paying too much or receive too little. Additionally, the amount of support you receive or give may be too much or too little. And finally, not looking into tax repercussions can have consequences that last for years.
4. Forgetting about taxes
There are several important things to keep in mind when considering tax implications during your high asset divorce. For example, after your divorce is settled, you will be required to pay taxes on the assets you have been awarded.
If the court awards you marital property or any other type of property, you (and not your spouse) will also be required to pay property taxes. And finally, if you have filed joint returns, both you and your ex-spouse are liable for audits.
All in all, if you neglect to keep track of who will be paying taxes and how much, you may be saddled with a worse deal than you originally thought you were getting.
5. Neglecting to hire a high asset divorce attorney
Unfortunately, these mistakes are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to what can go awry during divorce proceedings. A high asset divorce attorney can help their clients avoid these pitfalls and provide guidance and support along the way.
In addition, most quality high asset divorce attorneys have access to skilled appraisers and forensic accountants, whose expert contributions can help ensure a more equitable division of assets.
Keep in mind that not all divorce attorneys are created equal. You will want to look for lawyers that have experience handling high net worth divorces. In some cases, you may wish to look for a high net worth divorce attorney who has additional experience with other types of divorce issues, such as a property division lawyer or a Houston fathers’ rights attorney.
Fortunately, Grimes & Fertitta is home to divorce attorneys who have handled a wide variety of divorce cases, and who can take on multifaceted high net worth divorces.
Protect your future: Hire a high asset divorce attorney at Grimes & Fertitta
At Grimes & Fertitta, our high asset divorce attorneys have years of experience handling the particular issues that arise during high net worth divorces. From negotiating for a successful split of business assets to using our skills to navigate litigation during an emotional time, we provide our clients with the support and know-how they need.
For hands-on, personable, and experienced representation during your high net worth divorce, put your future in the capable and trustworthy hands of Houston divorce lawyers and The Woodlands divorce lawyers at Grimes & Fertitta.
Call Grimes & Fertitta at 713-224-7644 or contact us online to set up a consultation today.
More Helpful Articles by Grimes & Fertitta: