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Avoid these common high net worth divorce mistakes

Whether you planned your wedding for months or you simply chose a date, invited a few close family members and friends, and "tied the knot", you likely believed your marriage was going to last a lifetime. If it hasn't, and you're preparing for divorce, you'll want to beware of several common mistakes others have made. Especially if you have substantial assets subject to division, seeking clarification of property division laws in California and other matters before proceeding to court may be wise.

Preventable high asset divorce mistakes

Obviously, there are certain situations in life that are completely out of your control, such as what the weather will be like tomorrow. With regard to your divorce, however, you often have the ability to choose your plan, and, by being proactive and making informed decisions, you may be able to avert some of these common mistakes:

  • Rash decisions: Although you may desperately want to end your marriage in as swift a manner as possible, hurriedly agreeing to things is typically never a good idea. Assets, business valuations and other factors should be considered before you agree to anything that may bear financial impact.
  • Possible fraud: While it may seem like a good idea in the short term to transfer items of high value to a third party to escape division, it is generally not a good idea in the long run because a court may consider this as fraudulent behavior.
  • Banking on others' experiences: Just because your friends obtained certain settlements or won child custody victories in court doesn't mean you can presume what the outcome of your particular situation will be. Every case is different.
  • Lack of full disclosure: The law requires you to record a full inventory of all your assets and liabilities. Failure to properly fill out the affidavit can cause big problems.

You might want to think of your divorce as a type of business exchange, even though some may find this thinking a bit callous. Many people in the past who have allowed their emotions to overtake their decision-making process in divorce have had disastrous outcomes. This is one of several reasons it might be best to try to avoid emotional outbursts and proceed as though you are doing business in order to protect your interests and achieve an agreeable settlement.

Who can help you most?

Even though it's helpful to approach various portions of the divorce process from a business standpoint, it is also comforting to know there is experienced support available to help you through all aspects of your situation. After all, you're about to embark on a whole new journey and will be facing many unknowns as you build a new lifestyle and plan a happy, successful future. If you're feeling worried, depressed or concerned about a particular unresolved issue, you can reach out for assistance in the following ways:

  • Talk to a trusted family member or friend: Having a confidant may help alleviate your fears and provide the encouragement and support you need as you adjust to your new lifestyle.
  • Seek guidance from a faith leader in your community: A minister or other faith-based leader can provide spiritual nourishment and a friendly alliance as you make important decisions and take steps toward a new way of life.
  • Meet with a financial adviser: Generally speaking, your divorce will have a financial impact on you. It might be helpful to speak with a financial adviser to gain clearer insight as to your immediate and long-term financial needs.
  • Request assistance from a family law attorney: An attorney can advocate on your behalf in all matters, including many of the above. Protecting your rights and providing for your best interests are the primary goals of an experienced attorney.

Chances are, you worked long and hard to acquire your assets. There is no reason you should be treated unfairly or be forced to accept liability for a debt that is not your own. High net worth divorces can be quite complicated. By contacting a family law attorney who has successfully represented others in similar situations, you can protect your rights and secure an agreeable settlement plan.

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