What Should I Know When Filing for High Asset Divorce?

High Asset Divorce

It seems that whenever a fictionalized couple with significant assets divorces, their divorce processes are always contentious. Television, books and movies all tend to portray wealthy divorcing couples as vicious adversaries. In reality, many couples possessing significant assets are able to divorce amicably. Whether they choose to resolve the terms of their divorce settlements via mediation, attorney-led negotiation or they do ultimately end up in court, these couples retain a great deal of power related to the outcome of their general divorce process.

Sometimes, spouses struggle with fundamental disagreements related to property division and/or child custody. In these instances, mediation or negotiation may not be the best options. When fundamental disagreements arise, it may take a judge’s decree to settle the matter. But even in situations involving fundamental disagreements, there is no reason for high-asset divorces to be unnecessarily stressful or dramatic. When each party retains the counsel of a respected and experienced attorney, understands the stakes and remains flexible when possible, the high-asset divorce process can be productive and fairly efficient.

Accounting for All Assets

One of the most critical challenges that spouses with significant assets face is accounting for all of their income, property and general assets. Unless all separate and marital property is completely and accurately accounted for, it will be nearly impossible to construct a divorce settlement that is fair for both parties. In addition, a complete and accurate accounting of assets helps to ensure that neither party is accused of fraud or contempt by the presiding judge. When disclosures are incomplete or inaccurate, the filing party may become subject to severe consequences. Due to these primary reasons for ensuring an accurate account of all assets, it is important to speak with your attorney about the best way to ensure that no assets remain hidden or otherwise undisclosed. Under certain circumstances, hiring a forensic accountant may be helpful.

Approaching Property Division

Once all assets have been accounted for, it is important to determine how you and your spouse will approach the process of property division. If no fundamental disagreements exist and you are willing to remain flexible when possible, you may benefit from embracing the lower-stress, lower-cost and quicker processes of mediation and/or attorney-led negotiation. But if you would prefer to go with a traditional courtroom approach to your property division issues, that is okay too. In the end, it is your divorce process and you need to approach it in the ways you feel most comfortable.

Legal Counsel Is Available

If you have questions about the high-asset divorce process, please consider scheduling a consultation with a family lawyer in Rockville, MD experienced in this area of divorce law. Because divorces involving significant assets tend to be complex regardless of whether or not the spouses involved remain amicable, it is generally wise to seek counsel before committing to a strategic approach. Once you have been advised of your options and your questions have been answered, you can determine how best to move forward.


Thanks to the Law Office of Daniel J. Wright for their insight into family law and high-asset divorce.