CNN said it well: if you have a high-net-worth divorce coming, it’s “absolutely” time for a lawyer. At Hope Law Firm, we’ve seen how overconfidence or inexperience can ruin a client’s chances of gaining a rightful settlement—so remember these things as a favor to yourself.
Lawyers Know the Game
In a high-asset divorce, there is more money and property to fight over. These cases tend to be contentious. You need someone completely on your side who has no emotional blinders or misplaced guilt. In fact, the courts require a separate lawyer in difficult filings. In too many divorce cases, one spouse will agree to unfair terms in order to “get it over with.” That’s no way to protect your future, and a lawyer knows that.
Iowa is an equitable distribution state, where the outcome is supposed to be “fair” if not equal. The courts have great discretion in awarding spousal support, as well as how much of the marital estate each spouse receives. Many factors are taken into consideration when making these decisions: the age of the marriage; the earning abilities of the spouses; any pre- or postnuptial agreements; and the list goes on. The way your case is presented could make the difference between success and failure.
Plus, in these contentious divorces, the financial assets involved can be complicated:
- Family businesses
- Non-family partnerships
- Joint retirement accounts
- Real estate investments
Experts are often hired by both spouses to get the true legal value of contested assets. For instance, family businesses often have intangible assets like “goodwill” that somehow have to be calculated and split.
Lawyers Think of Things You Might Not
Distributing property is one thing. Thinking of all the consequences is another. Your lawyer should know the common mistakes in a high-net-worth divorce case.
Taxes on your divorce settlement need to be considered. Any distributions from accounts or forced alimony payments are crucial components of post-divorce tax liability and should be taken into consideration before the final judgment.
There is also a greater chance that one spouse will try to hide money or property from the other. These hidden assets need to be ferreted out in the discovery process, and having a tough, experienced lawyer is vital to doing just that.
The courts have broad discretion when it comes to awarding marital property, so the way your case is structured and presented really does make a huge difference—and this is the number one reason why you need an experienced attorney for a high-asset divorce.
Lawyers Who Know High-Asset Divorce
We at Hope Law Firm help clients manage the most complex property disputes. We fight strongly for our clients’ rights at the negotiation table and in court, and our goals are our clients’ goals. Call (515) 298-5056 for a free consultation with a Des Moines divorce attorney.