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How to protect yourself in a high-asset divorce

On Behalf of | May 8, 2023 | Divorce

Divorce is no easy feat, and adding high-value assets to the mix only takes it to another level of complexity. A high-asset divorce is when a divorcing couple has assets valued at least a million dollars or more. And with this significant wealth comes the considerable need to add layers of legal protection.

What’s at stake?

As a community property state, Louisiana equally distributes all marital properties. But if you and your ex have concerns to settle, you can establish a property division agreement. But before you proceed, you must first identify and evaluate all assets accordingly, which may include any or all of the following:

  • Real estate: marital homes, vacation homes and other rental properties
  • Accounts: pension, retirement, savings, stocks and insurance
  • Vehicles: luxury cars, planes, boats and different modes of transportation
  • Collections: art, jewelry and other collectibles
  • Businesses: including equipment and machinery

You may also have other assets, like gifts and inheritances, counting as separate properties remaining with the spouse who obtained them. As good practice, you and your attorney will have to consult other professionals, like a forensic accountant or real estate appraiser, for validation of correct valuation.

What’s your strategy plan?

Your boat can quickly sink if you do not have a comprehensive plan. Once you survived the first wave of work accurately identifying your valuable possessions, your commitment to truthful behavior is the next crucial part. Hiding your assets from your ex may lead you to facing court penalties and severe legal implications, only tarnishing your credibility in court. But if you think that you are on the receiving end of concealment, you may need to watch out for the following odd behavior:

  • Large, unusual withdrawals and purchases
  • Long, unexplained travels out of state or out of the country
  • Sudden financial decisions and movements, like loans and asking for your signature on suspicious paperwork

This fraudulent conduct will only drag out the already arduous process and add unnecessary financial burdens.

What comes next?

Aside from property division, preparing about tax considerations and arrangements about child support, custody and alimony is also necessary. At this point, your most substantial investment in all these contentious matters is an experienced legal counsel.