Unfortunately, divorce is a possibility that many people need to consider. The more assets you own, the more prepared you need to be when it comes to a high net worth divorce. The results of your divorce can impact you long after it is finalized in court, so it’s important to address it in the best way possible. Keeping a level head and recognizing what you want out of the divorce is essential to obtaining the best possible outcome.
1. Trying to hide your assets.
In Massachusetts, each party’s assets are part of the “marital pot” that is then divided in an equitable manner. In a long-term marriage, equitable almost always means equal. In a short-term marriage, equitable might mean each person leaves with what they came into the marriage. Dividing the “marital pot” can feel incredibly unfair. In every divorce, parties must exchange mandatory documents to each other dating back three years. There is a paper trail for everything so do not try to hide assets or transfer money into accounts that you do not think your spouse or the attorneys will find. Should you be proven to be someone who has tried hiding assets or moving money in a case, you will lose more than your credibility with the judge.
2. Making emotional decisions.
Feeling many different emotions is the one guarantee anyone can expect from divorce. Divorce can best be described as riding a roller coaster. There will be days when you are so upset and everything is an uphill climb; while there will be other days that are normal or even happy. Regardless of the emotion you are feeling, be careful not to act out on it. People dealing with divorce should consider seeking individual therapy to deal with the emotional issues that come with it so they can proceed in a way that is best for any children in the home. If you are acting out on your emotions it could potentially make someone feel unsafe or create more problems for your child. It is important to think about perspective in a divorce and know that at some point, the roller coaster ride will be over.
3. Agreeing to anything to end your divorce.
Divorce is not easy. It is emotionally and physically exhausting, not to mention time consuming. Maybe you can’t stand your spouse and feel like getting the divorce behind you as quickly as possible is in your best interest. Perhaps you feel guilty because you caused the divorce and don’t want to put your spouse through any more drama. As much as you may want to be done with your marriage, it is important to realize that the effects of divorce are often everlasting. Ensuring that your divorce is done the proper way is important to ensure both your future as well as your spouse’s.
4. Thinking your friends are experts.
Everyone knows someone who’s gone through a divorce and that person often is thought of as an expert. No two divorces are ever the same no matter what someone tells you. Let stories you hear about divorce be just that – stories. Just because your neighbor got millions in her high stakes divorce that doesn’t mean you will too. Get your advice from actual attorneys, not your friends, about what to expect in a divorce based on your unique set of facts.
5. Not thinking things through or being prepared.
Divorce is rarely cut and dry and a high net worth divorce adds more layers that parties and attorneys must closely examine. Your divorce lawyer should help you come up with a plan that includes figuring out what your goals are after learning about possible outcomes. Your high net worth divorce doesn’t have to be more complicated than it already is, but selecting the right attorney is key in making sure you are protected.
6. Refusing to compromise.
The opposite problem of agreeing to every little thing just to get the divorce over with is not knowing when it’s time to compromise. If you try to fight every battle you’re going to make yourself unnecessarily miserable and likely incur far more in attorney’s fees and possible harm your children. Think about what you really want out of your divorce and, with your lawyer’s help, determine where you should compromise. More often than not, when one person is willing to compromise, the other one will be encouraged to as well. Inform your high net worth divorce attorney about how you’re willing to compromise then let her do the negotiating.
7. Not hiring the right lawyer for your high net worth divorce.
Choosing the right high net worth divorce lawyer is a matter of research and preference. You need an attorney who understands the facts and circumstances of your case and can provide you with good counsel about the likely outcomes. There is no hard and fast rule that a higher-priced lawyer or an overly aggressive lawyer is better. Whoever is going to work well with you and advocate for your interests is who will be the best choice for you.