For high-net-worth individuals, the prospect of divorce may introduce a wide range of challenges. There is a lot at stake in this situation, which means you need to be aware of the risks and take the right steps to mitigate them. To better navigate the divorce process, it's helpful to be aware of the unique issues you might face, what you can do to address them, and how a Certified Divorce Financial Analyst® (CDFA®) can help.
Below are some of the most common issues in a high net divorce that many divorcing couples in your situation have faced:
Evaluating Your Assets
In a high net worth situation, there are often many different types of assets that you need to identify. It's crucial to enlist the help of a skilled investment expert to value your assets on your behalf. Common examples of these assets include stocks, property, and retirement or investment accounts.
Having an expert evaluate your assets can help ensure that you get what you deserve in order to live the life you want. It's especially crucial to take this step if you and your spouse both own a business, hold a partnership in one or have any other non-liquid investments, like real estate.
Professional business valuations promote optimal transparency in terms of the value of your company and reduce the risk of money going missing, a situation in which you would have to consult with forensic accountants. In these situations, we can connect you with someone to help.
Measuring Long-Term Growth
Because the growth of an investment portfolio can be difficult to gauge, evaluating long-term growth is a task best left up to the pros. It's a good idea to work with an experienced wealth manager to handle one of the most common issues of a high net divorce.
An advisor can assist in dividing your investment portfolio and providing you and your spouse with an equal share of investments. Taxes are an important consideration in this step, as different types of assets/accounts have different tax consequences. An advisor can help ensure the tax burden is split fairly so you don’t need to pay more than your share.
Dividing Property and Assets
After you've valued your assets and measured their growth, it's time to divide them up in an equitable manner. You likely have numerous types of properties and assets to keep track of at this stage, including:
Equal property division is one of the most common issues in a high net divorce. To ensure that the process goes as smoothly as possible, be sure to take inventory of all your assets and determine what you need and what you're willing to give up. Your spouse will then follow the same process so that you can both fairly separate property and assets.
Dealing With Hidden Assets
If you're going through a high net divorce, you may be concerned about the possibility of hidden assets. In some situations, a spouse might attempt to hide assets by paying in cash for expensive items or moving money into an account that isn't held in their name.
If this is a concern you have, talking to an experienced wealth manager can help decide if a forensic accountant needs to be brought in. He or she can launch the discovery process to determine whether your spouse has truly been hiding any assets.
Post-Divorce Planning With Stolz & Associates, P.S.
These common issues in a high net divorce are worth keeping in mind as you go through the process of filing for divorce. No matter what questions you have, whether they concern spousal maintenance or the long-term growth of your assets, we're here to give you the answers you need. Contact Stolz & Associates, P.S. today to learn more about the services we offer and how we can help give you financial peace of mind.