While any divorce can be costly and time-consuming, marriages involving high incomes and valuable properties can be incredibly difficult to resolve. Part of the problem is that couples tend to fight even more than usual when there's so much at stake, especially if one spouse has earned of accrued most of the assets. Although a high asset divorce is never quick and easy, it doesn't' have to be an all-out war. Below are some practical tips to help you survive the process:
- Do speak with an attorney right away, even if it's just for a consultation.
Protecting your assets requires legal advice, even if you are not going to court. High asset divorces involve complex assets that must be properly valuated to ensure the fairest division possible. Your attorney can also suggest alternative arrangements to help you and your spouse work through disagreements.
- Don't be vague or elusive about your financial situation.
Any experienced family law attorney will impress upon you the importance of being completely honest when it comes to your finances. You may be tempted to conceal certain records or transfer assets to third party accounts, but doing so during a divorce can be considered a criminal violation. In addition to losing credibility with the court, you may be facing fines and jail time if you are charged with perjury or contempt of court.
- Do accept the inevitable when it comes to alimony and child support.
Depending on the reason for your divorce, you may be outraged by your spouse's demand for support, especially in the form of alimony. The courts, however, rarely deny a spouse some level of financial support, even in cases of adultery. It's best to accept the inevitable and work out a fair agreement with your spouse as soon as possible.
- Don't rush into litigation, even if you have a good case.
As mentioned above, your goal should be to work out an agreement as efficiently as possible. If at all possible, try to work out an agreement through non-litigation methods such as mediation and collaborative divorce. Going to court can become very expensive, and you will most likely be ordered to cover your spouse's legal fees.
No matter what divorce method you choose, make sure that you are guided every step of the way by an experienced family law attorney. Because of the financial complexities of a high asset divorce, it's highly recommended that you retain a matrimonial law attorney like Vincent C. DeLuca, founding partner of Villani & DeLuca, P.C. The matrimonial law certification, which is issued by the New Jersey Supreme Court, is only given to family law attorneys who demonstrate the highest level of legal knowledge and trial experience. Legal representation from a matrimonial law attorney is essential when dealing with domestic support, property valuation, tax liabilities and other issues associated with a high asset divorce. Please consider discussing your options with Mr. DeLuca during a free initial consultation.