No one marries with the expectation that their marriage will end in divorce. This is particularly the case with individuals of means.
Many complications arise the more assets a couple has and the more diversified they are. There is also the potential for notoriety. Divorce can make private matters public. That could affect your reputation.
Some details make high-asset divorces unique. You may find it reassuring to learn that there are also options for potentially resolving your differences with your spouse in private instead of via often-contentious litigation.
Concerns that often become contentious among high-net-worth couples
Couples of means often have a diverse array of assets that they have to agree on how to split among themselves, including:
- Financial portfolios: It’s common for individuals to maintain a wide array of investments in the forms of mutual funds, stocks, bonds, venture capital or angel funds, and others. These may fluctuate in value as they mature and depending on the market.
- Real estate: High-net-worth individuals often maintain one or more U.S. residences and may even have ones abroad. The existence of rentals is also a possibility. Inventorying, appraising and splitting these may warrant an appraiser becoming involved.
- Diverse income streams: Many individuals of means don’t just run a single company, but several. They may have companies that they have an ownership interest in as well. Executives also may receive bonuses based on performance, making it hard to narrow in on the pay a spouse receives.
Individuals of means typically find themselves buying and selling properties and taking on new jobs, factors that can make settling in on their net worth challenging.
Minimizing conflict in high-net-worth divorces
A pre- or postnuptial agreement can make it clear which spouse owns which assets during the property division process and minimize the emergence of conflicts in a divorce. There are those marital assets that a prenup might not be able to help with. You may wish to engage in mediation in such situations.
Mediation allows you to keep private information about your finances, the reason for your divorce, property division, custody of your kids and support matters out of others’ purview. The same isn’t the case with litigation, as most proceedings are public. You may want to review legal resources about mediation to see if this is an ideal option for you.