A high net worth divorce is often more complicated than other types of divorces.
Comparably, it can also be more lengthy, adversarial and costly.
From companies to trust funds, high incomes to inheritances, professional practices, stocks, art or out-of-country assets, a high net worth divorce involves matrimonial property of $1 million or more.
Even if the separation is amicable, new divorcees are often unsure how their assets are to be equitably divided to minimize conflict. Sometimes, too, the high net worth property is controlled by one spouse with the other unaware of it or its value. It may require special efforts to locate and freeze these assets so that they can be fairly and properly assessed.
This is why you should seek the services of a divorce lawyer to help you conduct a thorough asset and debt inventory to secure the value you deserve, whether you were the family’s primary earner or the less-monied spouse.
Matters can become more complicated depending on your age, the length of your marriage, your professional achievements and those of your spouse. This takes us to what is called the Grey Divorce.
What is grey divorce?
Grey divorce describes high net worth marital splits involving older couples who have amassed significant assets over their long-term relationship.
In recent times, grey divorces have been trending upwards, sparking what has been described as ‘the grey divorce revolution.’ In fact, official data show that one in four people getting divorced is 50 years old or above.
Whether these couples were business owners, heirs or simply excellent investors and savers with hefty pensions or retirement plans, in a divorce, their finances are in jeopardy.
If you are getting a divorce, there are certain things to be avoided until everything is settled.
Here are a few suggestions:
- Avoid changing your financial situation
Under the law, the property is divided at the date of trial and not the date of separation. This means that if one party purchases real estate for example, after separation, that property is legally included in the matrimonial property to be divided.
So, even though ideally matrimonial property ought to be divided soon after separation, this is not always possible. It is for this reason that you are encouraged to try, as far as possible, not to change your financial situation prior to resolution.
- Avoid rushing into a settlement
Although, understandably, you might want to have a quick resolution, be mindful that the division of high net worth property takes time and effort to determine a fair and lasting settlement, which, ultimately, is what you desire.
- Avoid comparing your situation with that of others
Each matrimonial property case is different. Couples contribute differently to their partnership and the Courts will take that into account. So, while you may hear of divorce cases where one spouse ‘got everything’ during settlement, or another where one spouse ‘lost everything’, your case is peculiar to your relationship.
- Never engage in bad behaviour
Engaging in undesirable behaviour such as bad-mouthing or verbally abusing your ex, or spending the assets as soon as possible, maybe to your detriment as the Court may take these actions into account during the divorce process.
- Do not ignore tax consequences
High net worth divorces inevitably have significant tax consequences. It is advised that a structured matrimonial property settlement be considered as a way to minimize tax consequences for both parties. Also, it is often better to settle out of court than to have a judge impose a decision.
Hiring a divorce lawyer in Surrey
A divorce can be just as draining on your bank account as it is on your emotions. Its complexities require expert legal assistance. It is important for you to be honest and upfront about who owns certain assets and properties. Having an experienced divorce lawyer on your side can help you navigate this turbulent process. If you need a divorce lawyer in Surrey, call us at Nirwan Law Corporation.