A divorce is never easy, and usually involves substantial amounts of stress, particularly when it comes to property division. Couples with substantially greater assets than average will likely feel these effects more than usual because the division process can involve so many different factors and possessions. This means that you’ll want to be smart and prepare thoroughly before beginning this process to not only protect your most important possessions but also make sure you receive a fair share of what is rightfully yours. Here are a few do’s and don’ts to follow when preparing for your high-asset property division process.
DO Go Through Records to Verify Assets
Did you buy your treasured collector car before you got married? Was that large collection of vintage jewelry inherited from your grandmother? If so, these possessions are likely protected from the property division process, but you must be able to prove they are individually-held if your spouse challenges this claim. Go through your records, including old receipts, photos, and more to find any evidence that supports your claim.
DON’T Get Too Attached to Luxury Goods
Do you have a vacation house on Maui or a yacht parked in South Beach, Florida? While these luxury goods are nice to have, odds are they were made possible by two incomes, which means it’ll be extremely difficult to keep them with just one. Even if you do manage to prevent them from being sold as part of your divorce, odds are you’re not going to enjoy paying the insurance, upkeep, or taxes on these items when they’re solely your responsibility.
DO Look Out for Cheaters
We don’t mean infidelity during the relationship, mind you. We mean keep your eyes open for nefarious actions by your spouse. Some people try to hide assets by making them magically disappear before the property is divided. Documentation should be able to prove something of immense value was stolen, including police reports. Otherwise, evidence can show if something still exists and has been unscrupulously hidden. Conversely, don’t try to hide assets; odds are they will be found and this practice is not looked upon kindly by family law judges.
DON’T Pass Up Something Just Because You Don’t Want It
Property division involves equitably dividing marital assets between both spouses. However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take something that you don’t want. If he’s willing to part ways with his Harley Davison motorcycle that you hate or she is willing to give up her extensive rare wine collection to protect something else they truly want, you can always gain the proceeds from selling these items off, which can be a substantial boost to your final total.
DO Keep Track of Expenses
Attorney fees can be costly, particularly in a high-asset divorce. Your own attorney fees will be part of the final total when a divorce is settled, so be sure you get regular updates of your legal fees and submit them along with your other outstanding debts. Odds are you could be able to get them covered as a result of the property division process.
DON’T Assume You Can Avoid Alimony Payments
If you are the primary income earner in a family, even a high-asset family where money and living expenses have never been an issue, you could be required to pay alimony. Spousal support is designed to help the lesser-earning spouse maintain their standard of living during the marriage once the divorce is finalized, so don’t assume accepting less property will get you off the hook from this responsibility.
Finally, perhaps most importantly, don’t attempt to undergo the property division process without the assistance of a Rhode Island divorce lawyer. Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC can provide you with more than 35 years of experience and a keen attention to detail in order to give you the best possible chance at an ideal outcome to your case. We always make sure to handle whatever family law issue you face with the utmost professionalism, and we always respond quickly to calls keep your best interests at the forefront of all our legal decisions.
Get a free consultation for your high-asset divorce case by calling Bilodeau Capalbo, LLC at (401) 400-8182 today!