A number of factors can create challenges during a divorce, and a complex portfolio of assets is one of them.
Understanding the following three elements of a high-asset divorce could potentially make the process less contentious.
1. Forensic accountants can help resolve issues with concealed assets
It is not uncommon for one spouse to try to hide assets during divorce proceedings. A forensic accountant will thoroughly analyze investments and accounts to identify and categorize all a property before dispersion.
2. Financial documentation is crucial
Upon separation, you should begin acquiring financial documents as quickly as possible. Documentation is critical in high-asset divorces.
Virginia is an equitable distribution state, which means the court divides assets fairly. That does not always mean equal division. The first step is to identify each asset as marital or separate property. Providing sufficient documentation proving that your assets exist, helps categorize them and ensures you receive a fair share.
3. Property division is often challenging
Classifying and valuing real estate, businesses, investments and other valuable assets can be a complex process, often taking a long time. In these cases, some property requires specialized assessment to show value. You can speed up the process by having your assets appraised by a professional to show the fair market value. Even appraisals that are only a few years old can drastically misrepresent the current market value. An accurate evaluation is important during the division process.
When a prenuptial agreement exists, the court will abide by that contract during asset division.