Robert G. Smith, PLLC

A financial planner can be helpful in a high-asset divorce

New York residents who are considering a divorce may want to start by paying a visit to a financial planner. This can make a difference in the types of decisions made in the settlement. People who have not participated in handling the family finances might be in particular need of financial education. It is important that they understand the current state of the family finances as well as how their own finances will change after the marriage ends. They should not share a financial planner with their spouse even if they have done so during their marriage.

One danger is that a person may not understand the expenses that come with keeping the family home in exchange for liquid assets. This might seem like a fair trade, but the house will need insurance and upkeep while liquid assets may appreciate in value.

One woman was happy when she kept the family home, but she was unaware that her husband had taken out a home equity loan. As a result, her credit and finances were ruined as she struggled to make mortgage payments on a debt that was twice as large as she had anticipated.

In a high asset divorce, understanding the finances may be particularly important. The division of property may be a complex process. There may be real estate in other states, investments, collectibles such as art, and business assets. Even if the couple has a prenuptial agreement, one might challenge its terms. With a solid understanding of finances, a person contemplating divorce may be able to sit down with an attorney and develop a strategy for property division.

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Robert G. Smith, PLLC
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