If you are preparing for a divorce and have considerable assets at stake, working with a high asset divorce attorney is essential. These cases can be highly complex and contentious; having an attorney with the proper experience will help protect your interests.
While many divorces for average income couples are straightforward, a divorce with high assets requires an attorney who is able to properly assess the value of very complex assets such as family-owned businesses, professional practices, executive compensation packages, pensions, rental properties, expensive collections and business partnership agreements.
This requires a specialized set of skills and connections to qualified professionals. Many high asset couples also have public images to protect which may be the result of being a known personality or a community leader.
This could also refer to the head of a large corporation with investors who may have concerns about the impact of the divorce on the company. Here are some tips to help you find the right high asset divorce attorney to protect your interests.
Word of Mouth
Word of mouth can be an excellent source of successful divorce attorneys. An enthusiastic recommendation from someone whose opinion you trust is very valuable. However, it is important to keep in mind that even the best divorce attorney may not be the right choice if they are not experienced in divorces involving high net worth individuals. Narrow your search for recommendations to other individuals who have been involved in a high asset divorce and have had successful outcomes.
Your accountant, financial advisor or business consultant may also be good sources of recommendations. High asset divorce attorneys regularly employ these professionals to advise on matters related to the division of assets, and may have worked with someone in the past who made a positive impression on them.
There are several online information portals and organizations that offer peer and client attorney reviews, including Lawyers.com, Avvo and Martindale-Hubbell. You can also try attorneys associations with professionals who focus on divorce and family law.
The American Bar Association’s section of family law has thousands of members, and it offers a search portal in which you can search for attorneys by state. Likewise, the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers is a Chicago-based professional organization for family attorneys with a searchable website.
Consider Your Case’s Specific Concerns
While working with a general high asset divorce attorney is essential, you may also want to further narrow your search to ones with experience in additional areas that you anticipate being significant in your case.
For example, if you are expecting a highly contentious child custody dispute, look for a high asset divorce attorney with experience in this area. Business owners may want to ensure that the attorney they choose has experience working with evaluating businesses and how they are affected in a divorce. Spouses who have significant assets overseas should seek an attorney who works with a team of experts in international valuations.
Interview Potential Candidates
Once you have a short list of qualified high asset divorce attorneys you are interested in working with, arrange to meet with them for an initial interview to determine if you will be able to work well together.
Go to this meeting prepared to state your needs and the details of your divorce. Although some attorneys may offer a free initial consultation, this meeting is well worth paying for, if required, as it can help you ensure you are making the right decision.
In addition to discussing their experience and ensuring that they are prepared to handle the types of issues you expect to encounter in your divorce, it is useful to ask who will be conducting the bulk of the work in your case, whether it is a specific attorney or a team effort.
Once you have explained your situation to them, ask them to provide you with their initial reaction on how they recommend proceeding. For example, do they think you should negotiate a settlement, go into mediation, or take the case to trial? If you expect your divorce to end up in the courtroom, find out how much trial experience the attorney has and inquire about their history of success.
Perhaps most importantly, you want to ensure that the attorney you choose is someone with whom you will be able to work well. Keep in mind that you will need to discuss some very private matters about your marriage and family; choose someone with whom you are comfortable being fully open and honest.
Request a Consultation With the Maryland High-Asset Divorce Attorneys
The experienced family law attorneys at SIEGELLAW are prepared to assist with business valuations, perform property negotiations, and manage the many details that are involved in high asset divorce cases. Contact SIEGELLAW today to request a consultation.