If you are seeking a divorce and have significant assets, you should have a divorce attorney to protect your interests. Outlined below are some of the most important questions to ask your attorney as you navigate this complex process.
How Much Experience Do You Have Handling High Asset Divorces?
It is essential to hire a divorce attorney with extensive experience in high asset divorce cases. Some family law attorneys have decades of experience handling divorce cases but lack the specific knowledge necessary for issues that can arise in divorces involving high net worth individuals. These issues can be significantly different from standard divorce cases.
What Are the Biggest Mistakes an Individual Can Make in a High Asset Divorce?
One of the biggest mistakes that a high net worth individual can make in a high asset divorce is failing to hire an experienced lawyer in this type of case. Your lawyer should have access to a team of experts for this process, such as valuation experts, actuaries and accountants.
Another mistake is failing to keep personal and business affairs separate. When the business and personal affairs of a high asset person seeking a divorce are intertwined, the proceedings may take considerably longer to resolve.
How Can I Expect My Lifestyle to Change?
Regardless of your status, you will be expected to divide your assets fairly and equitably, although this does not necessarily always mean a 50/50 split. Your income and net worth will be impacted, and depending on your specific degree of wealth, you may need to make some lifestyle adjustments to prepare for this.
Should I Be Communicating With My Spouse During the Divorce Process?
Many attorneys will advise their clients to avoid speaking with their spouse if they are unable to maintain civility. In many cases, it is a good idea to rely instead on written correspondence and keep records of all texts and emails in case those conversations are later called into question.
How Do You Manage Complex Property Valuations?
Attorneys with substantial experience with high asset divorces should be able to explain how they address issues such as complex property valuation. This may include assets such as valuable art collections, businesses, and multiple properties and vehicles. They should be able to confirm that they work with an appraiser and outline strategies for assessing the value of an intangible property as well.
Can I See Some Testimonials?
Prospective lawyers should be willing to provide information about their past experiences in cases similar to yours, although personal information may remain confidential. They may also be able to provide previous clients who are willing to speak to you about their experience with the lawyer in question.
How Can I Protect My Assets?
This is one of the first questions most clients who are involved in a high asset divorce ask. After all, the prospect of potentially losing half of everything you have worked so hard to obtain can be daunting. It is possible to protect your assets by acting quickly and working with an experienced high asset divorce lawyer.
It is important to note that hiding assets is never a good idea in a divorce. Should your spouse find out, your divorce will likely become even more drawn out and expensive. Moreover, if the judge determines that you have attempted to hide legitimate marital assets from the court, you may be ordered to pay fines and penalties and find yourself discredited by the judge.
A reputable attorney will advise you that the best way to protect your assets is to be honest about what you have. Honesty will make it easier to reach an agreement about the final division of assets. If you and your spouse do not manage to reach an agreement on your own, a judge will divide the assets between you both following state laws governing the division of property.
Will I Be Required to Pay Alimony?
High-earning individuals are often concerned about the prospect of paying alimony or spousal support. A variety of factors will be considered in determining if and how much you need to pay, including the income and earning potential of both spouses, the duration of the marriage, the age and health of both parties, and whether either of the spouses stayed home to take care of children from the marriage or put their career on hold to support the career of the other spouse.
Contact the Experienced Maryland High Asset Divorce Lawyers
At SIEGELLAW, our Maryland family law attorneys have extensive experience working with high net worth individuals in divorces involving complex assets. Contact SIEGELLAW today to request a consultation and find out how we can work toward the best outcome possible for your case.