What is a High Asset Divorce

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A high asset divorce can be a complex and challenging process. Divorces involving greater assets are burdened with greater legal issues. Knowing what to expect will hopefully prevent you from being caught off guard during the divorce process.

High Asset divorces usually involve $5 million or more in marital assets. Marital assets can include real estate, investments, retirement accounts, savings accounts, life insurance, trusts, etc. There are unique considerations in high asset divorces such as ownership of businesses, tax implications, and valuation of stock or real estate.

Preventing extensive legal issues in high assets divorces is difficult unless you already have a pre-marital or post-marital agreement in place. When drafted properly, these contracts can make this process smoother because property and assets are already divided. But even then, these agreements can be a source of great contention in a high asset divorce. A spouse may contest it, and there are valid reasons a spouse can do so. Examples of valid reasons include:

  • Improper execution
  • Coercion to sign the contract
  • Invalid provisions
  • False or incomplete information
  • Unconscionable provisions

Many spouses involved in a high asset divorce will want to maintain privacy regarding the divorce and the specifics of their finances. A good option to maintain privacy is to hire a private judge, private mediator, or private arbitrator. This provides privacy for both parties and allows their lawyers to determine the timeframe. Many parties involved in high asset divorces prefer a faster timeline. Sometimes courts don’t have the capacity and time to deal with high asset cases. Private judges or mediators allow the parties to maintain privacy and proceed with a timeline convenient for them.

Additionally, sometimes spouses in high asset divorces attempt to conceal assets. Your lawyer may address this by hiring a forensic accountant or experts to value real estate or businesses. Here are some common ways a spouse may try to hide assets:

  • Lending out money to friends or relatives
  • Giving cash gifts to friends or relatives
  • Deliberately overpaying the IRS and then applying the overpayments to future years
  • Devaluing rental properties prior to the divorce by failing to find tenants, make repairs, etc.
  • Deeding property to relatives prior to the divorce
  • Deliberately undervaluing certain tangible assets, such as jewelry or artwork

A high asset divorce in Colorado requires careful planning, thorough asset assessment, and collaboration with skilled professionals experienced in complex financial matters.

If you have any questions about your divorce, or are ready to begin the process of divorce, call the Drake Law Firm today at  720-928-2381.

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