Robert G. Smith, PLLC

Know how to handle your high-asset divorce

A high-asset divorce can be a challenge to go through. You have to worry about all the normal aspects of divorce but you also have to deal with complex asset division. This can be difficult, especially if you don't have a full accounting of the assets that need to be divided. There are some cases in which one spouse might try to hide some assets so that they can keep them after the divorce.

You might think that you know about all of the assets that must be split, but you need to determine whether your ex purchased any expensive items while the marriage was rocky. Don't think only about cars and homes. Look into things that are easier to hide, e.g., jewelry, guns, artwork, electronics and similar items. All of these must be covered in the property division settlement if they're marital property.

Your family law attorney can help you determine whether there are any assets that you might have missed. In some cases, a forensic accountant may help. You also need to think about the valuation of various assets like businesses and retirement or investment accounts.

Don't forget that you'll also have to address the marital debts. It might be best to use marital assets to pay these off so that you aren't saddled with debt as you start your new life. Additionally, remember that you'll still be held liable for marital debts if your ex doesn't pay for them even if they were ordered to.

You'll likely have decisions to make throughout the property division process. Making sure that you know your rights and how these options might impact you can be helpful.

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