Going through a divorce is never simple or enjoyable. Due to the many factors involved in a divorce, there is always an opportunity for contentious disagreements and litigation. Difficulties and complications are often worse if you and your spouse have complex assets. Because of this, you should be prepared to deal with every aspect of the process, from determining child support to valuating your business. Being prepared will help you avoid common mistakes people make during high asset divorces.
Accepting any settlement
Drawn-out negotiations and seemingly endless arguments might make it tempting to agree to whatever terms come up just to move the process forward and be done with it. While this action might provide short-term relief, it could have devastating financial and emotional effects. Dividing assets, determining spousal maintenance (alimony) and custody agreements should be carefully analyzed because your future is on the line.
Failing to recognize signs of hidden assets
Unfortunately, it is a common occurrence for spouses to hide assets during high net worth divorces. Common warning signs your spouse is hiding assets include:
- Paying back phony debt to a friend or family member.
- Opening secret retirement accounts.
- Working with employers to delay stock options, raises or bonuses until the settlement is final.
- Keeping money as travelers’ checks.
- Failing to report income on financial statements and tax returns.
Your spouse may hide assets to prevent losing them to spousal maintenance payments or being divided. If you notice warning signs and fail to investigate and seek financial disclosures with legal counsel, you could miss out on being awarded assets.
Ignoring tax consequences
Dividing and transferring assets during high asset divorces almost always results in significant tax consequences. While you might be excited to receive a certain asset, be sure to prepare for potential tax consequences. When agreeing to spousal maintenance, you should also consider what your budget will look like after taxes.
You might find it stressful to pay attention to every intricate aspect of your complex divorce, but remember that every decision you make could have a significant impact on your future after the divorce. One mishap, mistake or overlooked issue could cause you to face an unfavorable settlement. Thankfully, you can take control over the process and minimize the opportunity for mistakes.
With the counsel and guidance of an Illinois family law attorney, you can get the insight you need to develop a level-headed strategy. When you have solid legal advice, you can get on track to achieving a settlement you deserve.