Splitting assets is an expected part of a divorce. However, the procedure can be more challenging when you and your spouse own valuable property, businesses or retirement accounts.
If either of you has an extensive financial portfolio, expect a thorough investigation that requires more money and time.
Complex marital assets to be aware of
High net-worth divorces often involve separating more than a checking account and family home. Some additional assets may include:
- Stocks, bonds and foreign investments
- Life insurance and pensions
- Collectables such as art, jewelry and cars
- A family-owned business
- Vacation homes
- Investment property
An appraisal is a vital step
Since you must split all marital property equitably, the courts use the current value of each asset to determine a fair share. Assigning a value may require the work of different professionals, including forensic accountants, art appraisers or realtors. If either of you does not agree with the valuation of the property, you can hire a different appraiser or have the court assign a fair market price.
You have three scenarios to consider
Equally dividing assets does not mean you must let go of your business, investments or second home. You have multiple possibilities to consider.
- Buy out your spouse or make arrangements for future payments
- Sell the belongings and split the profit
- Share the possessions or jointly run the business
Be prepared to work with your spouse to agree on separating assets. Otherwise, the court decides for you.
By knowing what to expect in a high-asset divorce, you and your spouse can more efficiently get through this intricate process.