Wealthy and Wise: Tips for Asset Protection in High Net Worth Divorces
From both a financial and an emotional standpoint, divorces are inherently complex. When a divorce is paired with a substantial financial portfolio, however, the plot thickens. Headlines regarding high net worth divorces—and the financial consequences for the spouses—are frequent. For example, a recent article on CNN Money reported that the CEO of Best Buy sold stock to help pay for his divorce settlement; CNBC also lists some of the most costly breakups. Unfortunately, however, such costly divorces are not limited to celebrities and multi-millionaires. Whether you are a famous celebrity, a successful business owner, or someone with significant assets for another reason, it is important to understand how to protect yourself in the event of a divorce.
What to do Before Marriage
Preparing a prenuptial agreement is a great way to protect assets before a couple even gets married. Also known as a premarital agreement, this written contract becomes effective once a couple is married and may address topics such as:
- Establishing ownership of property
- Defining the rights to property
- How property will be handled in legal separation or divorce
- Provision for or revocation of maintenance (alimony)
- Establishing wills, trust or any other arrangements to execute the provisions of the agreement
Prenuptial agreements can address these and many other topics couples may be concerned about before entering into a marriage. If couples are worried about protecting assets before marriage, they should be sure to consult an experienced attorney to discuss whether a prenuptial agreement is appropriate and, if so, how such an agreement should be structured.
What to do During Marriage
Postnuptial agreements can cover many of the same topics that a prenuptial agreement would address. The main difference, however, is that it is created at some point in time after a couple is already married.
What to do After Marriage
Author Margaret Atwood was quoted in Time Magazine in 1973 as saying, “A divorce is like an amputation; you survive, but there's less of you.” The hope, of course, is to minimize this effect—both financially and emotionally— for both parties. Without a prenuptial or postnuptial agreement, an experienced family attorney can still help a spouse protect assets and attain an equitable distribution of assets and property during a divorce.
At Mirabella, Kincaid, Frederick & Mirabella, we have represented spouses in many high net worth divorces, and we understand how to protect the assets of our clients—no matter how valuable. We are committed to providing the most effective representation possible, which invariably includes protecting our clients' finances. If you need assistance with a high net worth divorce—or simply want to protect any assets that you may have—please contact us for a free consultation today.