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What makes high-asset divorce risky?

Divorces can be both emotionally and financially draining for anyone involved. However, settling a divorce can be even more difficult and stressful for high-net-worth individuals if they do not have the necessary legal assistance from an experienced divorce lawyer.

Since high-net-worth individuals have more assets, there can be more to fight over -- and there is more at stake. In most cases, their financial assets are also more complex. Issues that add complexity in high-asset divorce cases include:

Family businesses: It will be necessary to determine if the business is subject to division in the divorce, how much the business is worth and what the future of the business will be.

Retirement assets: Retirement assets may need to be divided following the divorce using what is called a qualified domestic relations order (QDRO).

Stocks and other investments: It can be difficult to place a monetary value on stock options that may be available through an employer and other more complicated investment accounts.

Hidden assets: Even though it is illegal, one spouse may try to get away with hiding assets, especially if the other spouse has little involvement with the finances.

Real estate: Many high-net-worth individuals own more than one property in more than one state, which adds another level of complexity to the divorce.

Inheritances and gifts: In some cases, inheritances and gifts may be considered separate property even if they were received during the marriage.

If they are not handled properly, these issues can delay the divorce proceedings and rack up court costs and attorneys fees.

Whether you have many assets or own a business, it is important to have a skilled lawyer who has experience working on complex cases. That way, you will be able to retain a fair share of your financial assets once everything is said and done.

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